My Britpics Photos PixelmapUK Photos of Knypersley Pool My Cars Camping Index Land Rover UK

Mick Forster's Land Rovers (The Best 4x4 by far)

Land Rovers new LRX concept car

Baby Land Rover to debut at Detroit Auto Show

Ford Motor Co.’s Land Rover unit will take the wraps off a “cross-coupe” concept next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Dubbed the LRX, the three-door concept is smaller and lighter than the LR2. It’s the first major project to come to fruition since Gerry McGovern was promoted to design director at Land Rover 15 months ago.

In addition to its petite size, the LRX is characterized by its use of environmentally friendly technologies, some of which Land Rover hasn’t detailed yet. The powertrain, for example, is expected to be a hybrid system. Here’s what has been revealed: The concept will feature full-time four-wheel drive, hill descent control and a special version of Land Rover's Terrain Response system, which adjusts how the engine and transmission respond to throttle power depending on driving conditions. The Terrain Response system also has an "Eco" mode that generates lower emissions in city driving, according to Land Rover.

Among the “green” features are a polycarbonate clear roof and side windows that are 40% lighter than traditional glass, vegetable-tanned chromium free leather and some interior materials made from recycled plastic bottles. Interior trim, carpeting, headliner and door inserts also are made of environmentally friendly materials.

The electronic display uses “floating” LCD graphics to create a three-dimensional look that can be personalized for different drivers. There also is a touch screen display that displays graphics in layers depending on their importance.

Comments from Top Gear

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.