• May 17th 2010 at 3:59PM
  • 55
2011 Land Rover LRX – Click above for high-res image gallery

It was only a matter of time before our army of steely-eyed spy photographers were able to snag a handful of shots of the upcoming Land Rover LRX. Proving once and for all that BMW doesn't have the market cornered on psychedelic vinyl body wraps, the Indian-owned British SUV manufacturer's answer to the CUV question was spotted busting a move on public streets. If you can look past the electrified coral reef patterns smeared all over the vehicle's body work, it's easy to see that this may be the most interesting thing to roll out of the brand's tea-drinking consciousness in years.

So far, we know that the LRX may or may not sail under a different name once it lands in showrooms next year. Whatever Land Rover decides to call it, the baby-ute should be available in both front and all-wheel drive flavors. That's right, we said 2011 will bring a FWD Land Rover to the scene. If that's not enough to put a twist in the knickers of brand purists everywhere, reports have also suggested that buyers will also be able to opt for a hybrid version.

So why are we so excited? This has to be one of the best-looking, most innovative models we've seen from Land Rover since England was still invested in crushing lesser cultures for the good of Queen and country. The LRX isn't square, isn't powered by a V8 and will actually attempt to address real-world concerns like fuel economy. Even better, judging from the short overhangs front and rear, the all-wheel drive version will possibly be able to keep up with its big brothers once the going gets off road.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      a 2-door compact suv is the altimate vehicle envelope.
      i hope this triggers all the players to offer their versions of this configuration !
      • 5 Years Ago
      At first glance I thought that thing was a Ford Edge, but then I realized it wasn't fat enough.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As I've said before, this is not the first FWD Land Rover. The LR2 is based upon the Ford Mondeo.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The LR2 is based on a FWD car, but it is AWD. There is always some power going to each wheel, front and back. This LRX will be the first Land Rover to only power the front wheels at all times.
      • 5 Years Ago
      thats a nice paint job...
        • 5 Years Ago
        I like this truck but i cant but tear it apart, audi tt over the front wheel, mini cooper greenhouse, new ford explorer front clip, one mr. potato head coming right up
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a vinyl wrap, but yeah, badass.

        Oh, as for the car itself... hello godawful resale value and crap reliability.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I thought it was a Ford Edge at first glance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Totally deliberate to gain attention, otherwise It would be the typical black and white patters that make the shape details hard to see
      • 5 Years Ago
      Um, can I buy it looking just like that? Thanks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anyone else think this looks staged?
      • 5 Years Ago
      AWESOME! I totally expected this to have been "modified for consumer tastes" and come to market looking lame compared to the concept. Let's hope it has the acceleration of the new RRS SC.

      On another note, that is some cool camo. I've never seen style that before.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. This is a cool, aggressive shape.

        With a unit body and a reasonably efficient powertrain, it's reasonably practical, too. I'd seriously consider this, and LR hasn't been on my radar at all.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed. I'm totally sold on this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks like but the camo paint is odd
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess the camo on the rear and the rear sides glass doesn't make much difference in driver visibility. At least there's consistency in the design with the headlights using that same slim chopped look as the greenhouse.

      Interesting idea, and nice to see LR stepping outside of their past, but when will we return to the days where being able to see outside of your vehicle, with large windows, is remembered as an important safety and performance consideration?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was surprised at how similar the front fascia looks compared to the spy shots of the next Ford Explorer. Coincidence?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree the Land Rover design is attractive and that LR styling has spilled over into the Ford lineup (it's evident in the Flex as well). However, I was a big fan of the Explorer America concept. The latest Explorer pictures I've seen look a bit too sedate-- I really wish more of the concept's styling came through in the final design.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No. Not a coincidence. But to realize who is copying who, we must consider the evidence: Land Rover's LRX concept made it's world premier at the 2008 North American Auto Show (NAIS) in January, 2008.

        Now, these spy shots reveal the the production LRX will look almost exactly like the original concept - including the ground-breaking front end styling. Fantastic! Land Rover Design Chief Gerry McGovern has worked his magic.

        Coincidentlly at the 2008 NAIS, Ford premiered the 'Explorer America' concept, which revealed their thinking for the next-generation Explorer. At that time, the front of the Explorer America concept looked nothing like the LRX :

        Now that we are seeing the spy photos of the actual production Explorer, it has somehow gained a very LRX-like grille?!

        It's often said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. If so, Mr. McGovern should consider himself to be highly flattered by the designers of Ford's next Explorer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree the Land Rover design is attractive and that LR styling has spilled over into the Ford lineup (it's evident in the Flex as well). However, I was a big fan of the Explorer America concept. The latest Explorer pictures I've seen look a bit too sedate-- I really wish more of the concept's styling came through in the final design.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Forgive me in advance as I am not up to date on Land Rover designs, but just based off latest spy shots this design looks awfully similar to the upcoming Ford Explorer. Is there any chance that the design is based on the Edge/Flex/Explorer architecture? Considering that the Explorer uses the Terrain Management System based off Land Rover designs, and considering how recent the Land Rover departure was, it seems like the two crossovers may share some significant amounts of technology.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I see it. It looks like an Edge/Kia Soul two door with a lift. But, I think it looks kinda cool. There aren't enough cool 2-door SUVs anymore.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Directly related? No. But all these vehicles share Volvo roots. The LRX is based off the LR2/Freelander and that is based on the EUCD platform which is a riff on Ford's C1 platform. Copying from Wikipedia, we get the following EUCD-based models.

        * 2007– Volvo S80 sedan (introduced at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show)[2]
        * 2007– Ford S-MAX large MPV (introduced at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show)
        * 2007– Ford Galaxy (code name CD340) large MPV (introduced at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show)
        * 2007– Freelander/LR2 (code name L359) compact SUV (introduced at the 2006 London Motor Show)
        * 2007– Ford Mondeo introduced at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show
        * 2007– Volvo V70 station wagon
        * 2009– Volvo XC60 compact SUV
        * 2011– Volvo S60 compact executive car

        The 2011 Explorer is on the D4 platform (Flex, MKT), which as you might imagine is closely related to D3 based vehicles:

        * 1999–2006 Volvo S80 sedan (P23)
        * 2001–2009 Volvo S60 sedan (P24)
        * 2001–2007 Volvo V70 station wagon (P26E)
        * 2002–2007 Volvo XC70 station wagon (P26L)
        * 2003– Volvo XC90 crossover SUV (P28)
        * 2005–2007 Ford Five Hundred sedan (D258)
        * 2005–2007 Ford Freestyle crossover SUV (D219)
        * 2005–2007 Mercury Montego sedan (D333)
        * 2008– Ford Taurus sedan (D258)
        * 2008–2009 Ford Taurus X crossover SUV (D219)
        * 2008–2009 Mercury Sable sedan (D333)
        * 2009– Lincoln MKS sedan (D385)

        Of course, there is a lot of parts sharing going on amongst all these vehicles and as time goes on we'll see even more of this stuff. At the end of the day, we all win with more variety: Reduced parts/development costs = the possibility of lower volume vehicles and expanding untapped niches.

        Happy motoring!
        • 5 Years Ago
        think there was one article that said the same people that worked on land rover did the upcoming explorer...especially the hood and terrain management system...

        i just wish it had 4 doors
        • 5 Years Ago
        no. one's a four door suv, one's a two door fwd hatchback with a lr badge, i'm not familiar with any other platform sharing in current products from other automakers where the bits which underpin a hatchback are also used by their suv
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Michael Sheena California Autos Examiner - well put. and yes, just as we've been seeing from vag for a decade, platform and parts sharing done right certainly benefits all
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's a really funky looking 2011 Ford Edge...
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