Land Rover had announced long ago that they will be coming out with a LRX Concept. Now we all agree that the concept car, to be launched in 2012(hopefully), is a looker.
JLR has now come out and added a new twist in the tale of the LRX – It will be available in a Front Wheel Drive (FWD) version, the first ever FWD in the company’s history!
Can you imagine a world where a Maruti Alto/ 800/ Hyundai Santro / Toyota Corolla come with an All drive version? Doesn’t sound right, does it? Yes, that’s exactly how it sounds when I heard that one of the best 4 wheel drive vehicles with some of the best capabilities for pure off roading are bringing out a recession road only version. But, honestly if you ask me this is a move that will reap dividends for the company in the future. Why? I’ll tell you soon enough but first let me share details of the car to be.
Land Rover is reportedly looking to offer a more fuel-efficient product, a sign of the times, and the small LRX is a logical candidate for the FWD offering in the SUV maker’s lineup. The concept version of the LRX first saw the light at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show as a hybrid biodiesel-powered “cross-coupe.” The four-wheel-drive LRX will be out first and the FWD version will follow with a new name. Autocar in the U.K. are saying the Range Rover Compact is the most likely one. As for under the hood, the LRX was conceived as a 2.0 Litre Turbo Diesel hybrid with Bio diesel capability and the compact will also come with the same, being the LRX’s FWD twin.
As for economy, JLR said that the LRX will have fuel economy of 50 mpg, making it the most economical vehicle in its class. And with the compact, it can obviously rise. An electric version is also in the works and should be out by 2013.
Now, the question arises… why? I mentioned that this move will reap dividends. My reasoning is that the majority of people who buy these beasts don’t go fox or deer hunting in the woods neither are they children of adventure driving up through unmapped territory without their GPS’s. They are urban big salaried office go-ers, or the famed soccer moms. And all these people would love to buy a ‘Land rover that costs 10-15k$ less than the AWD version and extract the 50mpg economy as well out of it, while retaining the class tag that they drive a Land Rover!
This allows JLR to once again, make a signature range out of the Range Rover and make it regal while relegating the soccer mommies, the supposedly eco friendly- Lexus driving corporates to the Compact LRX’s. And to add to it, since the U.G govt. gives tax rebates to those owning hybrids and electrics, a nasty electric Land rover would be the best. While it’s a departure from the legacy of AWD, this as a marketing strategy is something that will hopefully fire for JLR and make the Range Rover an outdoorsy palace, once again.