Is Land Rover Going Soft? LRX Marks the Spot

William C Montgomery
by William C Montgomery
is land rover going soft lrx marks the spot

Like a lemming following Jeep off a cliff, Land Rover is looking to expand its image eroding soft-roader lineup. In a thinly-veiled effort to generate buzz prior to an official announcement, the legendary British automaker leaked photos of the Land Rover LRX concept to Auto Motor und Sport and other European automobile sites. Billed as a crossover coupe, the exterior’s cutting Edge design (geddit?) attempts to put a modern face on an historic marque. Unfortunately, the look is about as consistent with Land Rover’s off-road mystique as Jeep's Patriot games are for that storied off-road marque. But on the positive side, a real world LRX would help lower the brand's egregious not to say potentially fatal fleet fuel economy averages. And it's nice to see a parting shot ahead Ford's corporate defenestration. And the seats are swathed in the same sumptuous leather that blesses my favorite reading chair. Ummmmm, chocolate.

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4 of 13 comments
  • BostonTeaParty BostonTeaParty on Dec 14, 2007

    To me this is more like a contemporary version of the Range Stormer concept, design wise its good looking, contemporary, sporty and i’d expect to see a Range Rover badge on this in the near future.

    I guess SUV manufacturers can’t win, if they try to develop smaller niche led vehicles they get swamped with criticism. This looks like the dogs bollox, and if it gets to market will sell like a storm.

    As for saying that Land Rover is losing its touch of heritage, i say look again. Disco created a new niche segment for SUV’s, they have continued to enhance this by making the brands premium but capable. LR3’s and Range Rovers are more than able of holding their own offroad, its part of the brand bible when creating these vehicles.

    I’d have one.

  • Jamie1 (of Ford) Jamie1 (of Ford) on Dec 15, 2007
    Samir Syed : December 14th, 2007 at 1:03 pm Land Rover is slowly careening into irrelevance in the market where it should be gaining ground (America). So be it. All of the vehicles offer some sort of inherent contradiction with respect to the brand. Samir - respectfully (of course) what ARE you talking about? This is the same Land Rover you are referring to that is about to post record sales in the US, record global sales in 2007 (following record sales in 2006, 2005 and 2004) and record profit in 2007. Doesn't sound too irrelevant to me! You have falled in to the age old trap that many of your colleagues do, and judged success by US-only metrics. Land Rover is a true global brand (unlike the irrelevance that Jeep is). They have huge waiting lists for vehicles in Russia, China and many other markets and this new concept car will only further broaden their appeal. To suggest otherwise is to fly in the face of fact. BTW - Land Rover did not 'leak' the photos to AMS - AMS chose to ignore the embargo and print images they had been given in confidence - you can't trust the Germans!
  • Stein X Leikanger Stein X Leikanger on Dec 15, 2007

    Well, given that the "new" Rover is the spitting image of Saab's 9x concept vehicle from 2001, I don't really think AMS should worry to much about breaking any embargo.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Dec 15, 2007

    When such a small fraction of SUVs ever go off road I don't understand why anyone would get upset about a new vehicle not having a solid rear axle. 5%-10% of the US SUV market MIGHT be for serious off road use. Building the other 90% of the vehicles to do well at that rare use would be dumb. Sure, a few companies can make some money building niche vehicles for the serious 4X4 crowd, but it is irrelevant to the way the vast majority of these vehicles are used in North America.