14 December 2007

Land reform

Land Rover's stunning LRX concept sneaks on to the web early

Land Rover LRX

Here's an early Christmas present for you courtesy of Land Rover in the shape of the stunning LRX concept. 

We weren't allowed to tell you about this until next week, but somehow the official pictures escaped on to the web, so now we can reveal all the information on Land Rover's new baby. 

Described as a cross-coupe, the LRX previews a new compact offering from Land Rover set to arrive in 2010. Based on the Freelander platform but 10cm shorter and much lower, the LRX is the first car from new Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern.

It's a looker, too. Despite plenty of traditional Land Rover styling cues, the LRX features a softer design language than previous LR concepts. The blacked-out A-pillars create a floating roof atop a strong, rising beltline and rounded rear end, while shiny 20-inch alloys and blade-style indicators provide the jewellery. 

Despite the premium appearance, the LRX should be able to handle more challenging terrain than the mean streets of Fulham. It features permanent four-wheel drive - with Land Rover's traditional Hill Descent Control and Terrain Response system - but there's also an 'Eco' mode for urban driving. 

In this mode, the LRX's cabin will glow green, and switch to red for sports driving and blue the rest of the time. It's part of a high-concept interior, with 'floating' seats, thick aluminium centre console, 3D-effect LCD dash and, best of all, seats trimmed in vegetable-tanned leather. 

Don't expect all that to make it to production, but the LRX's eco-credentials should remain. There's no firm word on what'll power the LRX, but a hybrid powertrain should make an appearance during its lifespan. 

For more information on the LRX concept - and an exclusive photoshoot - make sure you pick up the Awards issue of Top Gear Magazine, on sale December 28.

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