• Mar 11th 2009 at 11:28AM
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Land Rover LRX Concept - Click above for a high-res gallery

When Land Rover unveiled the LRX concept at the Detroit Auto Show in 2008, it said the CUV was "Conceived as a 2.0-litre, Federalised, turbodiesel hybrid, with potential CO2 emissions of 120 g/km." That appealed to the UK government, which has confirmed it has extended a grant offer of up to £27 million to Land Rover to produce an all-new vehciles based on the LRX. Land Rover says it will make a decision on the project, which could cost up to £400 million, later this year. If the car is a go, it would "be the smallest, lightest and most efficient [Land Rover] has ever produced." That's not exactly a monumental thing, considering Land Rover's lineup, but it is the right direction to go. You can watch a video about the LRX here.

Land Rover called the LRX the company's second concept vehicle in 60 years, although that's debatable depending on who you ask. Whatever the case, the LRX was a hit, winning the "Concept Truck of the Year" award in the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards and generating plenty of praise. Is it enough to spend £400m (minus £27m)? Looks like we're going to find out soon enough. More details in the press release below the fold.



Gaydon, Warwickshire, 11 March 2009

The UK Government has confirmed a grant offer of up to £27 million is to be made available to Land Rover for the production of an all-new car. The company is due to make a final decision on the the go-ahead of the project at its award-winning plant in Halewood, on Merseyside, later this year.

The car would be based on Land Rover's acclaimed LRX Concept vehicle, first shown at the Detroit Show last year, and would be the smallest, lightest and most efficient it has ever produced.

"We welcome the Government's support for this project, which would form a key part of our future product plans and which we very much want to put into production," said Phil Popham, Managing Director of Land Rover.

The grant offer will be made available under the Government's Grant for Business Investment scheme and is an important contribution towards the overall £400 million cost of the project. This is separate from the broader automotive support package currently being unveiled by the Government.

Although it still has to go through a number of approval gateways in the product development process before getting the final go-ahead, Land Rover has also confirmed that the new car would be a key addition to the Range Rover family of luxury vehicles.

Phil Popham said, "Our engineering feasibility study has shown that we can very successfully deliver Range Rover levels of quality, drivability and breadth of performance in a more compact, more sustainable, package. Feedback from the most extensive customer research we have ever undertaken also fully supports our belief that a production version of the LRX Concept would further raise the desirability of our brand and absolutely meet all those expectations.

"It would be the smallest, lightest and most efficient Range Rover that we've ever built," Phil added. "The compact size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies of the LRX Concept showed how Land Rover is planning to respond to the needs of a changing world. Despite the current economic challenges, we remain committed to investing for the future, to continue to deliver relevant vehicles for our customers, with the outstanding breadth of capability for which we are world-renowned."

The new Range Rover would embrace excellent levels of refinement and all-round capability and also introduce new powertrain options, providing a major step forward in enabling the implementation of Land Rover's e-terrain technologies strategy and achievement of its goal to exceed a 20 per cent improvement in CO2 emissions.

"Both the design and size of the LRX Concept have generated a hugely positive reaction wherever it has been seen and we've also gathered fresh insights on what potential owners would look for in a production equivalent. That knowledge is now being applied to the process of refining the vehicle as it heads towards final approval," said Phil.

The Halewood facility employs 2000 people and is a recipient of the J.D. Power Gold Standard. It currently produces the Land Rover Freelander 2 and Jaguar X-TYPE.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      That would be one nice SUV. I hope they start the production ASAP.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's not an SUV. A car the size of an A3 is not an SUV. It's not even a CUV. That's why LR and the UK are so keen to build it, hatchbacks are new territory for the brand.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well regardless of what it is Zamafir I would love to have one.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ummm, 27 million !!??? what are they expecting for that? to help design the rear tailgate ? If that is all it takes to make a meaningful contribution to developing a car, we should be waist deep in new cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice gesture, but doesn't it cost in the billions to develop and produce a new model vehicle? I love this truck, but don't know what 27 million "Ls" will do to get it into showrooms.
      It's like offering someone a dollar to encourage them to buy a bottle of Dom...
        • 6 Years Ago
        sigh. It's not a truck, and it doesn't cost billions, it can, but there are many steps automakers take to minimize development costs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it just me or does it remind anyone else of the Lagonda crossover concept that they had at Geneva...?
      sure they might not be the same size or what not, but the general lines etc.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I also think there are a lot of similarities, particularly evident when you see both white ones side by side. However, overall I'd say this looks much better. The lines are cleaner here whereas the Lagonda is swoopier to try and match Aston Martin's GT cars. I'm also preferential to this actually being more in my price range than the Lagonda.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is about freaking time there is some more talk about the LRX. I have BEEN waiting for this puppy to be in production. Looks like I'll have to wait a couple more years.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think this vehicle was ahead of it's time when it was initially revealed, and that the time is now to let it loose. Modern design, AWD and great fuel economy brought me and my business partner to our local rover dealer (we're one and two on the list). If the price is reasonable (under 40k base) then rover has life support. Remember, it's smaller than the Freelander. Check out their microsite: http://lrx.landrover.com/index.html
      • 6 Years Ago
      Screw 2.0 turbodiesel. Stuff Jaguar V8 in there and give Infiniti FX50 buyers some thoughts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      One of the more interesting concepts of recent years. Though I'm not sure what 27MM in funding would really do.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks a lot like the 2003-2008 Infiniti FX.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Saab-rover anyone?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey, it's a sweet CUV. Build it!
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