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    Land Rover DC100 Concept Heads to the LA Auto Show
    Land Rover DC100 Concept Heads to the LA Auto Show

    Debut of the Land Rover DC100 Concept, previewing the next-generation Defender, at the Frankfurt Motor Show made huge waves. The most surprising thing was not the debut itself, but the fact that the car arrived in two versions: a hardtop and an open-air model. Later this month, the company promises to unveil a third version at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It is yet unclear how the LA show car will differ from the versions shown at the 2011 IAA in Frankfurt, or what body-style it'll feature.

    Land Rover hasn't yet confirmed whether the production version of the concept will be available in North America. A little hint on the vehicle's availability was given though by Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards in an interview with the Edmund's Insideline. He said that the Defender must be capable, usable, and abusable – quite appropriate for the Third World Market. He mentioned that they do talk much about the North American Specification 90 Defender, and not enough about Australian Outback and Zambia. Even though with the new Defender the company wants to get back to its roots, according to John Edwards, it would be nice if they could also sell it to the Californian surfer dudes.

    Land Rover Updates Its 2012 Models
    Land Rover Updates Its 2012 Models

    The British automaker announced the majority of modifications for its 2012 Discovery 4 and Range Rover Sport models. Both vehicles will get greater efficiency, more power, and a new eight-speed transmission.

    The changes are also focused on fuel economy and luxury. The both models will be equipped with a new 256 horsepower 3.0-liter SDV6 diesel engine. The average fuel economy is estimated 32.1 mpg and 230 g/km of CO2. These cars will have a new eight-speed ZF transmission, used by BMW and Jaguar models, which allows paddle-shift gearchanges in manual mode. The upgraded Range Rover Sport will feature the variety of interior trim choices, ''dual-view'' touch screen, and the high-tech satellite navigation system.

    “Both models will benefit from a new ‘WhiteFire’ wireless technology, which delivers audio to passengers via wireless headphones, plus there's a 17-speaker Harman Kardon LOGIC 7 audio system, and a ‘Say What You See’ voice command system which will enable the occupants to operate most of the new tech verbally. Entry-level audio and navigation systems on the 2012 Discovery will be compatible with Bluetooth, DAB, USB and will feature iPod connectivity.”

    First Land Rover Hybrid to Arrive in 2013
    First Land Rover Hybrid to Arrive in 2013

    Keeping up with the low-petroleum paradigm, Land Rover plans to launch a series of new hybrid models within the next few years. The electric Range_e concept introduced at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show last month was apparently a preview of the upcoming changes. The first model to get a hybrid version will be the new 2012 Range Rover, followed by a more radical plug-in hybrid in 2014.

    In the interview to Inside Line, Land Rover’s Global Brand Director John Edwards admitted that the new Range Rover-based hybrid vehicles are likely to combine an electric motor with a V6 gasoline engine to “offer V8 performance with V6 fuel consumption”. As for the range-extender hybrid, it is expected to use a small gasoline engine mated to an electric battery as seen on the current Chevrolet Volt. This technology is likely to be shared with next-generation Jaguar models.

    According to Edwards, the company plans its hybrid offerings focusing on the larger models, which are able to achieve the greatest gains from hybrid technology in terms of fuel economy. This strategy means we’re unlikely to see a hybrid version of the new Range Rover Evoque, at least in the near future.