The final production version of the Range Rover LRX could be unveiled on 17 June next year, according to Land Rover sources.
The premium compact SUV will finally be given the go-ahead for production by the end of the year, insiders have told Autocar. Production would probably begin in early 2011.
The June date is being considered because it will mark exactly 40 years since the original Range Rover was first revealed to the public.
The LRX would be positioned as the new, more environmentally friendly face of Range Rover as part of the brand’s 40th anniversary.
It’s expected that the styling of the final version of the LRX will differ from the concept. The car will also have the option of a hybrid drivetrain, which could be standard on more expensive versions.
The LRX is based on the same basic transverse engine platform as the Freelander and will be built at that model’s home, the Halewood factory on Merseyside.
The hybrid version of the LRX will probably use an electrically driven rear axle, which will work in combination with the engine-driven front wheels.
The LRX will arrive at a time when most industry analysts expect new car buyers in western Europe to embrace the concept of downsizing, with upmarket vehicles in the Golf class (B segment) becoming particularly popular.
As part of this, sales of the largest SUVs are expected to be hit hard in the EU, although they will remain popular in the Middle East and other developing markets.