A striking black and silver version of Land Rover's acclaimed LRX cross-coupe concept makes its global debut at the 78e Salon International de l'Automobile, alongside the original white LRX revealed earlier to widespread acclaim (at NAIAS, Detroit, in January).
"With its metallic black paintwork, silver roof and precisely detailed exterior features, the second version of the LRX concept is designed to show how well the vehicle can deliver a contemporary example of personalisation," says Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's design director.
"The LRX concept already has an abundance of character, but you can tune the appearance to reflect a customer's own personality and lifestyle. Clever use of colour and subtle additional details enable the vehicle to be tailored to suit an individual's style, without compromising the clean design of the LRX," he adds.
No production plans have been confirmed yet for the LRX concept, and both versions will now be used to gauge public, dealer and media response to Land Rover's cross-coupe concept, as well as its interesting new opportunities for vehicle personalisation.
"We were hugely excited by the positive response that the original LRX concept generated when we showed it at the Detroit Show a few weeks ago," says Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover. "But we've always seen scope for LRX to provide a whole showroom of different models, with a range of powertrains including hybrids and bio-fuel capable engines."
Using lightweight material technologies, Land Rover has developed a series of bespoke features for the black and silver LRX that add to the vehicle's individuality and flexibility. The removable carbon composite roof panel contrasts with the silver-coloured roof, and has integral anchor points for fixing snowboards and other sports equipment. The sleek black roof bars provide another option for roof-top loads, and a compact step above the rear bumper provides for easy roof-top access. More carbon composite is used for the protective underbody plates at front and rear, while new, lightweight alloy wheels with unique-design tyres signal purposefulness. And to protect the vehicle when the going gets tough - in either urban or off-road situations - there are smart, resilient mouldings on bumpers and sills.
"The black and silver LRX shows a real world breadth of capability. Its all-terrain ability, extra protection and load-carrying versatility help emphasise that it's an authentic Land Rover, while its compact dimensions, agile handling and efficient powertrain make it a practical proposition for everyday driving," says Phil Popham.
The LRX concept marks a bold evolution of Land Rover design, signalling the brand’s potential shift into new areas of the market, while remaining true to its core values. As the company celebrates its 60th anniversary during 2008, the three-door LRX, with its more compact size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies, clearly addresses the needs of a changing world and offers the potential of 120 g/km CO2 emissions and fuel economy of 60 mpg (4.7 l/100km) on the European combined cycle.
“The LRX concept delivers the powerful message that we are as serious about sustainability as we are confident about the continuing relevance and desirability of our vehicles,” says Phil Popham, Land Rover’s managing director. “LRX is in every respect a Land Rover, but it’s a very different Land Rover.
“LRX has unmistakable Land Rover design and the breadth of capability that you’d expect from our vehicles. But it carries those essentials into a segment where the brand has never been before, and with a proposed level of efficiency that would make it one of the cleanest vehicles in its class. It is Land Rover’s way of affirming the brand’s responsible approach to future product development. At this stage, LRX is purely a concept, designed to help us develop our thinking as well as gauge customer reaction – but this feels like a hugely exciting direction to take.”
COMPACT AND PREMIUM
LRX is described as a cross-coupé and dramatically extends the scope of what Land Rover represents. Though 149 mm (5.9 in) shorter than the Freelander 2 / LR2 and 205 mm (8.1 in) lower, LRX is conceived as a premium car, designed to appeal to new customers in the luxury and executive sector – those who want many of the benefits of a 4x4 and the presence of a larger vehicle, but in a more compact package.
The first all-new Land Rover revealed since Gerry McGovern became the company’s design director, LRX is a natural extension of the Land Rover range, complementing the existing models and helping to define a new segment. Its many recognisable Land Rover design cues include bold new interpretations of the signature clamshell bonnet, the floating roof and the solid ‘wheel-at-each-corner’ stance.
“LRX is a design born out of passion for the brand, but it is different, relevant, engaging and exciting – because Land Rover has never built ordinary cars,” says Gerry McGovern. “LRX has a highly desirable identity and the design alludes strongly to its capability, while clearly underlining our forward-looking philosophy – it’s a Land Rover that would be comfortable on Bond Street or Fifth Avenue, but wouldn’t flinch at getting its wheels dirty.”
Its compact size is one of its greatest assets, which will appeal to anyone who wants the versatile ability of an agile 4x4 with the cachet of the Land Rover name. In addition, its lower weight and the reduced aerodynamic drag resulting from the smaller frontal area would help give significant gains in fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions.