The Land Rover DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts have landed in America at the LA Auto Show, making their first appearance in North America. The concepts pack a bunch of technology for dealing with difficult off-road conditions, and are of course, fuel efficient. The concepts are a glimpse
The Land Rover DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts have landed in America at the LA Auto Show, making their first appearance in North America. The concepts pack a bunch of technology for dealing with difficult off-road conditions, and are of course, fuel efficient.
The concepts are a glimpse into the possible design direction of Land Rover’s long serving Defender. Although the Defender no longer has a presence in the U.S market, taking the DC100 and DC100 Sport to LA could signal a return to the States for the Defender. Land Rover actually hope to re-introduce the Defender in the middle of the decade, and the concepts are a step towards this goal.
The DC100 rides on 20-inch alloy wheels and all-terrain tyre’s. It has a raised air-intake snorkel and a roof rack, ensuring a go anywhere ability. The off-road ability of the DC100 is enhanced by short overhangs, allowing for some fairly extreme approach and departure angles. An upright windscreen and strong shoulder line improves visibility. Of course, there are round headlights, a front winch and a prominent grille, all to remind everyone that it is indeed a Defender at heart. The DC100 Sport is much of the same really, but it lost its roof along the way to LA.
In terms of technology, the concepts feature Land Rover’s advanced Terrain Response system to optimise the vehicles for any conditions. A new Terrain-i system is also included; creating an intelligent topographical map of an area in front of the vehicle. This map is displayed in 3D, and can identify potential hazards and thus suggest alternative routes. This technology isn’t just useful off-road, but in the urban environment as well. It can identify pedestrians and hazards, and then politely suggest you don’t hit them.
There’s a new Wade Aid system that utilises sonar sensors in the bumpers and wing mirrors to gauge water depth. This system can then close body vents, raise ride height, select a lower gear and advise on the the safest speed accordingly. It sounds absolutely fantastic, and much better than the old, make-a-passenger-stand-in-the-water-and-hope-he/she-doesn’t-get-eaten-by-a-crocodile method.
Lastly, the concepts have numerous efficiency measures to make sure there is still a mother nature left in the years to come, because without mother nature, there won’t be anything for the the DC100/DC100 Sport to conquer. To begin with, the concepts have a Stop/Start system. The there is an efficient eight-speed automatic gearbox installed, which is specifically designed with future hybridisation in mind. The all-wheel drive system, featuring Driveline Disconnect, is completely dynamic. Power is generally sent to the front wheels alone, with power only being sent rearwards if the conditions demand it. There is a physical mechanical decoupling of the rear axle, as opposed to merely electronically disconnecting it. This method reduces friction and improves efficiency.