With rumors swirling around an impending front-wheel-drive sport-utility offering, Land Rover confirmed the claim and announced a front-drive version of the upcoming compact LRX due out in 2011.
The LRX is set to make its production debut at the upcoming 2010 Paris Motor Show in the fall, more than two years since it first bowed in concept form in Detroit. With vehicle efficiency on every automaker’s agenda, the smallest Land Rover is another step towards improving overall fleet mileage and emissions levels. Land Rover says the front-wheel-drive LRX will emit less than 0.46 pounds of carbon emissions per mile.
"Land Rover has announced that the all-new compact Range Rover will be available in two-wheel drive," said Phil Popham, Land Rover's managing director. "This is good news for the company and for our customers. A two-wheel-drive 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."
LRX engine details remain sparse but a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 paired with an electric motor is reportedly in the works alongside smaller mills. The smallest engine in Land Rover's current U.S. lineup is the 240-horsepower, 3.2-liter inline-six from the LR2. European customers have a 2.2-liter turbo-diesel inline-four at their disposals.
Of course, four-wheel drive will remain on LRX order sheets. The all-wheel-drive model will emit an anticipated 0.50 pounds of carbon per mile and sacrifice a bit of fuel economy.
"We will continue to make the 'world's finest all-terrain vehicles' for those customers who require four-wheel drive but will also now offer an alternative to those that don't," said Popham.
Check back with Automobile when the wraps come off the LRX in Paris.
Source: Land Rover