Entry-level Land Rover set to evolve from popular Defender concept; car to rival Mini Countryman

Land Rover is poised to give the green light to a new model that would slot in below the Freelander, making it the company’s least expensive product.

It’s thought that company bosses are seriously considering bringing the DC100 concept to life as an entry-level ‘leisure’ Land Rover. The DC100 was originally conceived as a pure design concept to preview how the Defender could evolve, but reaction to it in its present state has been so overwhelmingly positive that Land Rover is considering using the DC100’s looks for a new entry-level road-going model.

According to one production scenario, the DC100 will be based on the Evoque platform. Such a car would measure just 4.3m long, making it a direct rival for the Mini Countryman, Skoda Yeti and Nissan Juke.

The other option is to build it on the new-generation Defender architecture, which is expected to be a traditional separate ladder frame chassis. This latter scenario would, however, limit the DC100’s appeal in affluent urban areas where significant volumes could be sold. Land Rover bosses are also aware that the baby SUV market is booming and other brands, including Jeep, are planning to enter the segment.

Public and press reaction to the DC100 concept — originally styled as live research into the possible form of the all-new Defender family — is thought to have been very enthusiastic at last year’s Frankfurt debut and at Los Angeles and Tokyo before Christmas.

Land Rover’s brand boss, John Edwards, recently revealed to Autocar that he was “massively encouraged” by the reaction to the DC100, and by the fact that people thought they were looking at a £45,000 vehicle. “It’s £20,000 to £25,000 in reality,” he said.

The new entry-level model would be part of what Land Rover internally refers to as its leisure-oriented range, the others being utility (Defender) and luxury (Range Rovers, including the Evoque). It is part of a wider scheme to launch no fewer than 40 new cars over the next five years, including a larger version of the highly successful Evoque.

Land Rover is also planning to inject more desirability into the design of the leisure models, which are more utility-focused than the Range Rovers, using sportiness, more arresting styling and more car-like interiors. “We want them to be more exciting than they are at the moment,” said design chief Gerry McGovern.

McGovern believes that more differentiation is needed between the Mk4 Range Rover, out early next year, and the next Discovery, suggesting that the Disco will survive as an upmarket seven-seater wearing the Land Rover brand, rather than being absorbed into the new Defender line-up.

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Comments
17

6 April 2012

I believe LR should build a de-blinged version of this as a Defender replacement.It just looks right !!

6 April 2012

The car looks good, but it doesnt look like a Defender replacement to me, so using it as a sub freelander entry model makes far more sense. They will sell loads with it based on a cut down Evoque platform.

6 April 2012

[quote artill]The car looks good, but it doesnt look like a Defender replacement to me[/quote]

I think this car will sell well and I think Land Rover should sell it, but I don't think it's a viable Defender replacement.

6 April 2012

Ford were reportedly planning a vehicle based on a Transit to be made in Turkey. Fortunately they sold the company to TATA who seem to have more commercial awareness.

The replacement for the Defender is going to have to compete with the Toyota Hi-Lux, Ford Ranger and similar pick-ups. To do this it will probably have to be built in a low labour cost country.

7 April 2012

I wasn't keen on the DC100 as a Defender replacement; it simply didn't seem tough enough or cheap and easy enough to repair. As a simple leisure vehicle it makes far more sense, a more off road oriented Skoda Yeti really. But keep it simple - I want hard wearing plastics, rubber floor mats and none of this leather dashboard nonsense.

7 April 2012

[quote newtoybox]Ford were reportedly planning a vehicle based on a Transit to be made in Turkey. Fortunately they sold the company to TATA who seem to have more commercial awareness.[/quote]

Being bought by TATA was the best thing to happen to JLR in a long, long time.

7 April 2012

[quote Dark Isle]bought by TATA was the best thing to happen to JLR [/quote] I'll hold back fulsome praise for now, but the company certainly has allowed its designers a free hand to good effect.

The DC100 looks as if it might join the list of classless cars. It advertises all the right elements...

7 April 2012

DC100 is yet another pointless car from LR - it'll sell well as there seems to be a never-ending stream of customers who will buy the latest pointless car.

I don't understand it but LR are right to make money out of it.

7 April 2012

If a pointless car from LR sells in droves, then I don't suppose it can be pointless, if the point of building cars is to sell them.

I see where you're coming from, but it's like berating The Sun for printing pointless journalism.

Tat sells, unfortunately, but in fairness to LR, its cars are good at what they do.

8 April 2012

Does anyone else think it looks like a škoda yeti?

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