Who's Ready For An FWD Land Rover?
From Ferrari’s manual-free pledge to BMW’s move to front-wheel-drive, the auto industry is breaking down formerly untouchable barriers left and right. The latest: longtime four-wheel-drive specialist Land Rover will build a front-drive version of its forthcoming compact “SUV Coupe” known as the LRX. The new model, which debuts at this fall’s Paris Auto Show, will generally be available with all-wheel-drive, but after launch a front-drive base version will become available. Though Landie had previously foresworn FWD models as being incompatible with the brand’s values, there’s been a change of heart and according to Autocar, the Tata Motors-owned marque
cannot ignore the growth of the two-wheel-drive SUV segment
There’s been no word thus far about the LRX’s availability in the US, but if it does arrive stateside don’t expect FWD versions to be imported. And don’t expect the LRX codename to grace its rear deck either: five names are said to be under consideration for the model, one of which is “Land Rover Compact” and none of which is “LRX.”
It's getting so that nobody can preview a new product without claims of copycatting somebody else (and rightfully so in this case... this thing oozes Kia and Ford). But in this age of quick-draw computerized design, maybe it's just basic Darwinism that the best features should be copied, pasted and morphed. I rather like it.
"Who’s Ready For An FWD Land Rover?" Who really cares? The brand has been so diluted at this point and its vehicles are so far from the straight-axled Rovers of the 90s, they've lost tremendous credibility by those that actually care about 4x4s. They may still be able to drive through the jungle for an advertising photoshoot, but the off-road community has ceased to take any new Land Rover seriously for a long time.
There's nothing really wrong with this for two reasons: * Many (most?) Land Rovers never leave the pavement, and it's either offer a better-riding crossover or go extinct. * The alternative would be a Jaguar crossover, which is just wrong Lexus manages to do exactly this with the RX versus the GX/LX and it works very well. If you really do need something that can ford streams and crawl rocks on the way to your luxury compound, then the GX/LX are there. If all you want to do is hop curbs in the Whole Foods parking lot, the RX is a better car all around. J/LR would be nuts to walk away from that market. A somewhat more masculine take on the RX formula is not a bad thing, and there's enough market fickle-ness that an LR could get traction.
Why would anyone choose this over a Forester? Just for the Indian flair?