Currently reading: DC100 is new baby Land Rover
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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Frogger 28 January 2013

When I first saw this concept

When I first saw this concept I looked at it as the ideal replacement for the original freelander. I am pleased to hear that Land Rover have seen sense not to bring it in as a replacement for the Defender.

I think that it would be wrong for Land Rover to think of the new Defender as a rival to the Toyota Hilux as some people suggest. The Defender sets the standard ... it doesn't follow suit.

I would like to see Land Rover do more with the Discovery. They could easily convert it into a pickup and add a slightly longer version. I'd also like to see them bring out a more basic version of the Discovery without the automatic gearbox and all of the trimmings.

The Defender has a certain look that cannot fail to appeal. However, it needs to be reworked to allow more cabin space. I think that it needs modular seating (like in the VW California and some people carriers) that allow the slots in the (flat) floorplan to double as tie down points, or for expedition furniture.  A lifting roof wouldn't go a miss (or at least allow expedition companies to fit one). Sliding rear doors (on the 110) would help the commercial image and avoid them getting in the way when an awning is drawn. I want the interior to be very basic and allow for adding modules. No point fitting instruments like a GPS ... I can fit that myself and it would be more advanced than the Land Rover versions. I would like electric mirrors. It is a hassle to adjust them manually when you are on your own. My advice to Land Rover would be to take the existing Defender, and push the walls back, and add even more modularity and then see what that does to the shape ... rather than relooking a vehicle that already looks fantastic.

charlotte66 28 November 2012

I find the DC100 very sad.  I

I find the DC100 very sad.  I believe it confirms the end of the utilitarian Defender. No more will we see British farmers battling the elements with their die-hard defenders for years on end.  The classic British icon has been taken and been made into a luxurious vehicle purely for the weathly Chinese markets.  Land Rover on this one, have lost their roots.  It is simply a replacement Freelander.  I don't see why the Defender has to lose its practical and tough image. A real shame.  

superstevie 11 April 2012

Re: DC100 is new baby Land Rover

koyaanisqatsi wrote:
don't really know why Landrover think this market is made up of an infinite number of niches!. A proper defender replacement in 3 or 4 lengths and several body style could/should easily replace the defender, freelander and even evoque as well as any other niche in that 4x4 pricebracket. a real tough, practical icon will be far more popular than a succession of poser offerings (me thinks). The DC100 could be that car.
The defender is a proper, full on off road car first, and road car second. It has many commercial uses, including the army. With that in mind, I think LR also need some road based cars that can also handle the muddy stuff (that is their USP). A 1 size fits all solution you mention does not work in this instance.

If priced right, this could be a great entry level Land Rover. Prices under 20k would be preferable as well. It is basically a replacement for the old 3 door Freelander.