New Range Rover LRX will have front-wheel drive as an option

Land Rover will launch its first ever two-wheel-drive car this autumn, an ultra-frugal version of its Range Rover ‘coupé SUV’, the LRX.

The new Golf-size coupé — whose interior is likely to focus on style instead of full-blown practicality — is due to make its public debut at the Paris show and enter production next year.

Land Rover had ruled out a front-drive variant, arguing that its brand values would be compromised by such a move. But now the firm says it “cannot ignore the growth of the two-wheel-drive SUV segment”.

The front-drive LRX will not be available at launch; it will follow “shortly after” the four-wheel-drive variant, say Land Rover sources.

All versions of the LRX are likely to use a version of the Freelander’s drivetrain, with a revised specification of that car’s PSA-sourced 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine producing around 185bhp.

They will also have a six-speed manual ’box as standard, making the LRX the first manual Range Rover since the second-generation model, replaced in 2002.

The front-drive model will emit less than 130g/km of CO2, says Land Rover; four-wheel-drive LRXs will emit around 140/gkm.

Although the car is widely known as the Range Rover LRX, Land Rover sources say it will be given a proper name instead of a code. Range Rover Compact is said to be one of five badges under consideration, although Autocar understands that it is not the favoured option.

Four-wheel-drive variants are likely to cost around £35k, with front-drive models priced at around £5000 less.

Ed Keohane

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Comments
44

10 May 2010

and the rot sets in.....

I cant say I'm supprised to read this but it's still a sad day never the less.

10 May 2010

[quote spike197]and the rot sets in.....[/quote] I thought there exists an electronic four-wheel drive system in light SUVs activated manually or autromatically? Anyhow, small pedestrian and car friendly SUVs that won't ever do hard work above crossing a grass field or drive on snow seem to sell. My concern is Tata's owner keeping to his promise: it will be very close to its concept in design and be a Range Rover brand.

10 May 2010

I see this as a bit like Porsches Cayenne. The company is sensible enough to realise it needs to be in certain markets in order to survive and the purists will hate it. But honestly, regarding what will probably be a large demographic among buyers of the LRX, do they really care if it's four wheel drive?

10 May 2010

[quote Autocar]

The two-wheel-drive LRX will be the lightest car in the firm's history.

[/quote]

Unless the firm's history didn't start in 1948, the early Land Rovers would all be lighter, weighing no more than 1,200 kg. This 2wd LRX will weigh at least 1,400 kg. Who writes this kind of thing? Phil Popham's people or Autocar? Usual hyperbole/unfiltered PR transmission by Autocar when it comes to all matters JLR.

10 May 2010

I think this can only be a good thing. I wouldnt think any person buying an LRX has any intension of taking it off road. This will be beneficial for plenty of folks buying this primarily for the pose value rather than anything else, the additional 4 wheel drive system will be a wasteful increase of cost, wieght and thirst.

And again this is only an option, for those who really use their 4Wd drivetrain in city traffic or brag about it during lunch hours there is always the more expensive option.

10 May 2010

They should really do a separate brand or something. Surely they should have learnt something about the way a fwd x-series has done to the Jag brand and a fwd Elan to Lotus.

If they really really want to cut emissions, why not make it a hybrid by adding electric motors to the rear wheels. That would make it 4wd, hybrid, low emission, etc

[quote TheWizardWeb]regarding what will probably be a large demographic among buyers of the LRX, do they really care if it's four wheel drive?[/quote]

Buyers of the LRX may not care, but buyers of all other models will definitely care if the brand gets tarnished this way. Part of the value of "Landie and Jeep are the real thing, other brands are not" will be lost, and buyers will just go for the German and Japanese (or indeed Korean) competition, which is very good indeed.

10 May 2010

Don't blame the company, blame the customer for asking for it. After all, if Landrover don't supply the product that the people want then how can they expect to grow?. Like it or not, this is the future of the SUV, and who said all SUV's must be 4 wheel drive anyway?

Belive me, it won't of been an easy decision for LR to produce front wheel drive vehicles but it could prove a vital one.

Freelander 2 wheel drive is next!!

10 May 2010

If they could provide a diff lock for the front diff it would still give it some off road ability, more than a normal 2wd.

10 May 2010

Well considering most people who own a Land Rover don't actually ever drive them off road, I don't see why this so much of a shock to everyone?

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