Land Rover LRX coupe gets the green light

Land Rover LRX coupe gets the green lightGaydon, England - Land Rover is going ahead with plans to manufacture the striking new LRX compact offroad coupe first shown as a concept at last year's Detroit show.

The Indian-owned automaker, which bought Land Rover from Ford, officially announced the plans at its Gaydon plant in England where the car will be designed and built.

The LRX is designed to fill a niche market for compact, sporty SUVs. It is set to appeal to new customers in the luxury and offroad sector who want an eco-friendly package, said the company. The new car is expected to feature a hybrid drive combination of either petrol or diesel and electric propulsion.

The scaled-down offroader will make its debut next year at a time when industry experts expect new car buyers in western Europe to opt for downsizing, with a discernible trend towards more luxuriously-appointed smaller cars such as those in the Golf class.

"LRX has unmistakable Land Rover design ... but it carries those essentials into a segment where the brand has never been before and with a proposed level of efficiency that would make it one of the cleanest vehicles in its class," said Land Rover's managing director Phil Popham.

Full technical details have not been announced but the LRX is likely to feature some of the innovative green features of the Detroit show car. These include integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive which allows it to retain full off-road ability in tough conditions.

The electrical drive system of the LRX concept uses power stored in a dedicated, high-voltage capacity, lithium-ion battery pack independent of the normal 12-volt battery. This is kept charged by regenerative braking. (dpa)