Currently reading: Land Rover goes front-drive
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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golfman 16 May 2010

Re: Land Rover goes two-wheel drive

Land Rover - going anything else than 4WD - as big a mistake as Walkers thinking that Cheese'n'Onion should be in a blue bag, and Salt'n'Vinegar should be in a green bag - when EVERYONE knows that they should be the other way around. Really people, it's that big a mistake.

Rover P6 3500S 11 May 2010

Re: Land Rover goes two-wheel drive

nicksheele wrote:
Oh you meant, real Rovers, proper, REAR wheel drive Rovers, not badged Hondas or Austins. So that'll be the SD1 - last Rover - reknowned for its peerless quality - in an alternative universe. Blighty's headed down the pan of a one-party state and folk are suggesting the return of peerless quality Rovers. The country must be on acid.

No, the SD1 - although fantastic in terms of looks and sound, and it handled pretty well - was not a brilliant example of a PROPER Rover, being deliberately cheapened as it was, and as badly-built as it was (though later examples were OK-ish). No, the P6 is more the kind of thing we need to remember - truly innovative, well-built, safe, refined, stylish in a strictly functional way...

mikesalt13 11 May 2010

Re: Land Rover goes two-wheel drive

I think the FWD LRX may just be an brand emissions regulator, much like the Cygnet is to Aston Martin. Land Rover know that people will buy this on brand-name alone, so they make a few quid in the process and keep the EU happier with lower emissions across the brand.

To be fair, this is not actually a huge departure from the LR2. This uses a Haldex Traction clutch to engage 4WD, but most of the time, it is actually running FWD. They have effectively just thrown away the weight of the Haldex clutch, propshaft, rear diff and rear half-shafts and called it the LRX.