Land Rover reveals eco 4×4 concept in Detroit

14 January 2008 #SMMT News

The concept Land Rover LRX revealed at this week’s Detroit Motor Show, demonstrates the Warwickshire firm’s commitment to sustainability. The LRX, through the use of a turbodiesel hybrid engine, lightweight design and the use of environmentally friendly materials, has the potential to produce CO2 emissions of just 120g/km. That’s 27 per cent less than the current industry average.


It does this through a compact size (149 mm shorter and 205 mm lower than the Freelander 2) as well as less weight combined with a frontal design giving significant gains in fuel economy and reducing tailpipe CO2 emissions. The concept’s integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) is particularly significant, as it allows the LRX to use electric drive alone at low speeds of up to 20 mph, while retaining full 4×4 ability in tough conditions and mechanical drive to all four wheels.


The electric drive then assists the mechanical drive until the engine is running in its most efficient range, benefiting both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. All electrical drive systems are charged through a regenerative braking system, also working through the ERAD. Each of the five LRX models will have an ‘Eco’ mode which will be used principally for on-road use. This integrates all the car’s systems, making it work more efficiently and improving fuel consumption.


Lightweight design is also key. Plastics are used instead of glass, which is around 40 per cent lighter, cutting vehicle weight. The trim has also been well thought out – the leather is vegetable-tanned, so chromium-free which means it’s better for recycling; extensive use of lightweight and readily recyclable aluminium; carpeting made using felt from sustainable sources; and suede which is 100 per cent recycled material made from used plastic bottles and fibres.


Phil Popham, Land Rover Managing Director said, ‘We are determined to make sustainability a key element in our future product design and the way we do business, while still creating vehicles that have a strong emotional appeal as well as fulfilling people’s practical needs. No single technology delivers all the answers to whole-life sustainability, but the LRX concept brings together some of the ideas for the future that interest us, integrating them into a car that we believe represents an exciting way forward for Land Rover.’


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