Hardcore Land Rover enthusiasts may want to sit down for this one. Autocar reports the UK's preeminent luxury off-roading marquee is going front-drive with the upcoming LRX; a move that is sure to rile some purists. The British site quotes an unnamed LR source as saying the Tata Motors-owned brand "cannot ignore the growth of the two-wheel-drive SUV segment."
While the small crossover segment is undeniably growing, another reason to offer a soft-roading LR is emissions. Autocar quotes LR as saying the front-drive LRX will achieve a scant 130g/km of carbon dioxide emissions, while the AWD version could net a still respectable 140g/km of CO2. That kind of efficiency would help Land Rover improve its fuel efficiency and bring down its overall CO2 footprint, helping the automaker towards the goal of meeting strict Euro emissions standards. Offering a B-Segment-sized crossover will also help Land Rover with toughening U.S. fuel efficiency standards. There is further speculation that the LRX could at some point feature Land Rover's rumored hybrid powertrain.
While the world has come to know of Land Rover's forthcoming two-door as the LRX, word is that the company isn't sure the name will make production. Among the names reportedly being considered for production is Range Rover Compact. Sounds like a lousy option if you ask us, but then again there is a good chance the little LR will get a different name here in the U.S. The front-drive LRX will reportedly bow in Paris this fall and will be offered after the 4WD model hits the market.