The 90 and 110 were extremely capable, as was the original Series I. But, in order to achieve some serious off-road chops the Defender sacrificed on-road drivability and comfort. In the U.S., only a handful were sold. And for those who expected typical Land Rover luxury appointments inside, disappointment was inevitable. The Defender was a crude, utilitarian summit-to-safari truck. And while many enthusiasts are hopeful that character will remain, Land Rover is moving forward with something that more will enjoy. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The DC100 concept takes a rich history of durable capability and injects stylish design and powerful electronics. It's something out of a James Bond film, and it has the tech to keep up.
In order to keep capability at the core of the DC100, Land Rover is considering some new (read: innovative) features. Some that are up for consideration are:
Auto Terrain Response
This is the next evolution of Terrain Response. (You may recall seeing this feature in the new Grand Cherokee or Explorer, or even a number of current Land Rovers.) Auto Terrain Response is exactly what you'd think, but the approach is unique. Using HD cameras, sensors, and a complex algorithm, the DC100 is able to automatically adjust to changing terrain. In addition, an intelligent mapping system called Terrain-i will create a 3D map using a headlamp mounted scanner that suggests the safest route when traversing difficult terrain.
This system uses sonar, like a submarine, to find water depth. The system then automatically adjusts the ride height and announces a speed advisory.
On-Demand Spiked Tires
If Wade Aid weren't 007 enough, then consider driving around on ice and, with the push of a button, deploying a full set of tire spikes to keep you on your way. The spikes are housed within a second chamber of the tire that, when inflated, cause the spikes to shoot out. We can only imagine the possibilities of this technology.
The new DC100 concept offers a taste of the past, but isn't held down by it. Regardless of how much it changes, the new Defender will still be a Land Rover. And if technology is behind the improvements, then we'd say that Land Rover was successful in bringing an iconic SUV into the 21st century.