Officially Official: Land Rover confirms hybrid and front-wheel-drive LRX models

Land Rover LRX spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

When the new LRX compact crossover hits the market, it's goal is to change the way the world perceives Land Rover. Unlike the rest of the marque's range, the LRX isn't likely to boast unbeatable off-road prowess with fuel-sucking power – quite the contrary, in fact. Land Rover has officially announced that in addition to the previously rumored front-wheel drive model, a diesel hybrid version of the LRX will be on the road in 2013. These two new-to-Land Rover features should go a long way in broadening the brand's attractiveness to new sets of buyers interested in smaller vehicles like the new LRX, though the move might risk alienating traditionalists, particularly if the model's off-road ability is severely compromised. (Note: The LRX name still isn't in the books yet, and to this day, Land Rover is referring to the crossover as the "all-new compact Range Rover").

Near the end of this year, Land Rover will start testing its first diesel hybrid prototype, which has been dubbed "range_e." This development vehicle, which rides on a Range Rover Sport platform, will use LR's existing 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 and a ZF eight-speed automatic mated to an electric motor. The goal is to produce a powertrain that can achieve a range of around 20 miles solely on electric power, while emitting less than 100 g/km of CO2 emissions. A conventionally powered production-bodied LRX was already spotted testing just earlier this week.

While this technology is still a few years away, Land Rover has assured us that the front-wheel-drive LRX will be available right away when the range launches next year. Never fear, though – Land Rover will still offer the LRX with an honest-to-goodness four-wheel drive system, and we look forward to getting both some on- and off-road time in the new baby Rover. The full details are available in LR's press release available after the jump.

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[Source: Land Rover | Images: KGP Photography]
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Land Rover has announced that it will introduce a 2WD option (in addition to the 4WD derivative) for the new compact Range Rover. On sale in 2011, the 2WD vehicle will emit less than 130g/km of CO2 – making it the lightest, most fuel efficient Range Rover ever.

Jaguar Land Rover has committed to investing £800 million in developing environmental technologies and remains committed to developing vehicles with sustainable features which respond to customer demand.

Phil Popham, Land Rover managing director said: "Land Rover has announced that the all-new compact Range Rover will be available in 2WD. This is good news for the company and for our customers. A 2WD option is just one way in which we are developing our vehicles efficiency whilst adding to the Land Rover range and expanding our customer base. We will continue to make the 'world's finest all-terrain vehicles' for those customers who require 4WD but will also now offer an alternative to those that don't."

As part of the introduction of 2WD, Land Rover will be focussing on three main areas of technology to reduce the weight of Land Rover vehicles, reduce parasitic losses and increase powertrain efficiency. The use of hybrid technology is also part of the significant developments for the larger vehicles in the range. The first diesel hybrid will be available in 2012 and on the road in 2013.

By the end of 2010 Land Rover will be testing the first diesel hybrid prototype called the 'range_e' which is being developed using a Range Rover Sport platform. Tests of this vehicle will use the existing 3.0 litre TDV6 diesel engine featuring a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. The goal is to achieve a range of 20 miles using electric power only emitting less than 100 g/km of CO2 emissions and to achieve a top speed of around 120mph.

Land Rover has over 60 years of experience developing supremely capable vehicles with pioneering technology such as Terrain Response. Land Rover sells its vehicles in over 160 countries world-wide and is constantly looking at the market place and developing vehicles that customers in all these markets want to buy.

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