Land Rover unveils eco-car

15-01-2008

Land Rover unveils eco-car
Land Rover, normally known for gas-guzzling 4x4s, has unveiled what it claims is one of the most environmentally-friendly cars it has ever produced.

The British-based firm, which looks set to be bought by Indian carmaker Tata after being put up for sale by its owner Ford, unveiled the LRX hybrid concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Far from the traditional image of the Discovery range, the three-door vehicle is designed as a compact car and it is hoped it will help "dramatically extend the scope of what Land Rover represents".

Designed to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30 per cent, the 2.0 litre turbodiesel engine is designed to run on biodiesel.

An integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) will enable the car to run on electric power at speeds below 20mph and Land Rover claims the vehicle's CO2 emissions are 120 grams a kilometre.

"The LRX concept delivers the powerful message that we are as serious about sustainability as we are confident about the continuing relevance and desirability of our vehicles," Phil Popham, Land Rover's managing director, said.

"LRX is in every respect a Land Rover, but it's a very different Land Rover. At this stage, LRX is purely a concept, designed to help us develop our thinking as well as gauge customer reaction - but this feels like a hugely exciting direction to take."

He added that Land Rover was "determined to make sustainability a key element" in its future design and insisted the LRX, while still a concept car, "represents an exciting way forward" for the manufacturer.

Ford has put Land Rover and its sister carmaker Jaguar up for sale after experiencing tough trading conditions last year.

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