10 May 2010 - 16:00
Land Rover goes two-wheel drive
The new baby Range Rover will become the first-ever two-wheel-drive Land Rover, company bosses have announced today.
Although the Dualis-rivalling small SUV previewed by the LRX concept (pictured above) doesn't officially have a name - LR refers to it simply as the Range Rover Compact at present - it will definitely be available in front-wheel-drive form when it goes on sale early next year.
Land Rover had initially discounted the idea of a two-wheel-drive Rangie, but has now conceded that - with front-drive variants making up 22 per cent of all SUVs sold in Europe - it would be foolish not to offer the fuel-efficient option.
Fear not, off-roadistas - the compact Range Rover will also be available in full-time four-wheel drive.
Land Rover has also confirmed that the hybrid version of the compact Rangie will not be available at launch, but should arrive UK-side in 2012, and here... well, some time afterwards. Probably late 2013.
Even in non-hybrid guise, the coupe-ish SUV will be the greenest Land Rover ever. Expected to use a revised version of the Freelander's 2.2-litre turbodiesel, the two-wheel-drive variant should emit less than 120g/km of CO2 while returning around 4.7 litres/100km.
So... a front-wheel-drive Rangie: Land Rover moving sensibly with the time, or brand sacrilege? Vent your collective spleen.
Sam Philip/Piers Ward
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WHAT! A FUEL EFFICIENT LAND ROVER! THAT'S UNBELIEVABLE!