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Defender concepts getting real

2011-11-16 09:47
Land Rover’s DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts will make their North American debut at the Los Angeles auto show in rough-'n-ready off-road guises.

The off-beat concepts show the possible future design direction of Land Rover’s Defender stalwart Defender model. Where the concepts’ global debut at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show was trained mainly on their designs, the LA exhibits shift the focus to taking the Defender’s off-roading prowess forward. The concepts now ride on optimised off-road 20" alloy rims shod with Cooper all-terrain tyres.

The concepts are finished in Land Rover’s signature Heritage Blue paint with a white roof.

Design-wise, they have short overhangs to cope with acute approach and departure angles, an upright windscreen and the familiar Defender face with its signature round headlignts and prominent grille, complete with winch. 


The DC100 hard top also has expedition accessories with a raised air-intake schnorkel for wading and a roof rack.

The topless DC100 Sport embodies the spirit of cool of the early canvas-topped Land Rovers with their folding windscreen.

Apart from the physical attributes that make it ideal for rugged off-roading pursuits, these concepts are also backed up by a range of new state-of-the-art driving aids.

The concepts now showcase the next generation of Land Rover’s "terrain response" system that can set up the vehicle for a range of conditions without requiring in put from the driver.

They also debut a Terrain-i device that shows the topography ahead of the vehicle, warns the driver of approaching off-road obstacles, and suggests alternative routes. It can also be used on tar roads to identify road hazards with greater accuracy.

Wade Aid uses sonar sensors in the bumpers and wing mirrors to assess water depth and prepares the vehicle for water crossings by closing the body vents, raising the ride height, selecting a low gear and advising on the safest speed for the crossing.


As befits all Land Rovers, the DC twins come equipped with permanent four-wheel drive mated to an eight-speed transmission with Intelligent Stop/Start technology – both of which have been designed with hybridisation in mind. Driveline Disconnect physically decouples the rear axle, sending power to the front axle only to save fuel in regular driving conditions. 

John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director said: "The Defender has always been at the heart of the Land Rover brand and single-handedly defines our go-anywhere, can-do spirit. Our ambition is to create an all new Defender for a global market that remains absolutely faithfully to its original DNA: tough, versatile, durable and capable.

"At the same time, it will be developed for the 21st century and adaptable for the needs of future generations," Edwards continued.

"Our intention is to introduce the all new Defender in the middle of the decade - there's a lot of work to do to meet these dates and our concepts are just the start of the journey."  

The hardtop DC 100 and topless DC 100 Sport make their LA auto show appearance on November 16, 2011.

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