Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Land Rover Is Not Confirming Small Hybrid SUV

Land Rover LRX Concept

Land Rover LRX Concept

If you believe BBC�"s Top Gear and a number of blogs, Land Rover has gone hybrid gaga. The reports say the company has confirmed the production a new Range Rover compact crossover two-wheel-drive hybrid SUV for 2012; that it�"s developing a diesel-electric hybrid version of the Range Rover Sport for a 2012 debut; and that the company is currently testing a fleet of five plug-in hybrid SUVs in the UK.

There were so many announcements�many of them conflicting with one another�that we reached out to Jim Resnick, product PR manager, Jaguar Land Rover North America. He confirmed production of a new smaller SUV for 2011, based on its LRX concept, but said no other details have been announced. �SThere will likely be several iterations, but it�"s not something we�"re discussing yet. We haven�"t announced what powertrain the vehicle will have,⬝ Resnick told

The only fact about Land Rover�"s fuel efficiency strategy that Resnick would confirm is reduced size and weight. �SIt�"s quite a bit smaller than anything that Range Rover and Land Rover has ever had,⬝ Resnick said. �SIt will be lighter and lightness equals greater efficiency.⬝

Intent vs. Reality

In 2008, Land Rover unveiled a small three-door SUV concept called the LRX. The concept used a 2.0-liter, turbodiesel 4x4 hybrid, capable of running on biodiesel. Land Rover said the concept could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30 percent compared with other comparable 4x4s. When the LRX was revealed, Land Rover managing director Phil Popham said, �SIt�"s all about looking to the future. The LRX concept is making another statement of intent about sustainability, and Land Rover�"s credentials about environmental performance.⬝

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