So they surprised us with the DC100 Sport and some cool new tech features. I won’t debate as to whether some of this stuff is right for the next Defender, it’s a concept and on top of that, we’re not going to see it until 2015, so who knows what tech will be standard by then!
LAND ROVER UNVEILS TWO NEW DEFENDER CONCEPTS AT THE FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW
The DC100 and DC100 Sport
“The entire Land Rover team is excited about the opportunity, and the responsibility, of creating the replacement for the iconic Land Rover Defender. Loved the world over for its simple, honest and distinctive design, we are determined that the new Defender will be true to its heritage while meeting the requirements of a changing global market. We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalize the details of the new vehicle. One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be an exciting journey, and we can’t wait to get going.”
– John Edwards, Global Brand Director, Land Rover
For over 60 years, Land Rover has been designing and building 4x4s that define capability, versatility and usability. Like no other vehicle, the Defender inspires affection and loyalty the world over. It is an eminently adaptable vehicle, serving people under all conditions whether they are explorers, ecologists, UN aid workers or Red Cross medics.
From just two principal platforms, the Defender has been put to every task and reconfigured in every way, from fire engines to tracked exploration vehicles. The only limit to the abilities of a Defender is the imagination of its owner. An estimated three-quarters of the nearly two million Defender models built are still in use.
The next chapter in the Defender story will unfold at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. The two DC100 concepts unveiled there will build on the essential elements of Defender and allow Land Rover to discuss and inspire dreams of a future Defender.
- Two new concepts from Land Rover investigate the future design possibilities of the iconic Defender.
- Three-across front seat is inspired by early Land Rover vehicles.
- Cutting-edge sustainable, hi-tech materials taken from luxury yachts, private jets and even spacecraft.
- The concepts capture the flexibility, adaptability and configurability that have always been key attributes of Land Rover and continue in today’s Defender.
- DC100 demonstrates the future of Land Rover capability and versatility.
- DC100 Sport is an active expression of freedom and adventure.
- The Terrain-i scanning device warns the driver of obstacles when off-roading and can suggest alternative routes.
- "Wade Aid" uses sonar technology to assess water depth and advise the driver of optimum speed for water fording.
- Intelligent next-generation Land Rover Terrain Response® system automatically optimizes the vehicle for any surface or terrain.
- Driver-activated spiked tire system can be deployed at the touch of a button.
- Future paint technologies will allow for self-cleaning and healing paint and bodywork.
- Both concepts are based on the same lightweight, mixed-alloy platform.
- Four-wheel drive with a transfer case.
- Eight-speed automatic transmission
- Intelligent Engine Start/Stop technology
- Driveline Disconnect physically decouples the rear axle to save fuel when four-wheel drive is not required.
- 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines with hybrid and plug-in capabilities.
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Adventure key is a waterproof, lightweight alternative to the control fob.
- Always-on connectivity and telematics allow for vehicle-to-smartphone, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-base communication.
- Built-in inductive charging stations throughout the concepts.
- Land Rover confirms its global intention to launch a new Defender in 2015, with no current decision on whether or not the next generation Defender will come to the North American markets.
Two modern interpretations of the iconic Land Rover will make their debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Both concepts capture the adventurous, daring, and indomitable spirit of Land Rover. This spirit came to fruition in 1948 with the launch of the Land Rover Series 1, which swiftly earned a global reputation for capability and created the legend surrounding the Land Rover name.
Replacing an automotive icon is a tremendous challenge. These two concepts explore design possibilities that take the honest character and timeless simplicity of the Defender into the 21st Century.
As the names of the DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts suggest, their inspiration stems from iconic Land Rover models, and are intended to generate discussion about the future of one of the most recognized automotive designs in the world.
The shape and stance of the DC100 concept captures the inherent simplicity and confidence of the original Land Rover. The DC100 design undeniably demonstrates that it has the capability to embark on journeys to places few other vehicles dare tread.
The DC100 Sport captures the adventurous, into-the-wild ethos typified by the early Defender models. With canvas roofs and fold-down windshields, these vehicles allowed a total connection with the exciting landscapes they traversed. Reinterpreted for a new generation of adventurers, DC100 Sport features a streamlined, cut-down windshield and side windows
Both concepts feature three across front seating for increased versatility. The middle seat lifts to reveal a secure stowage area, while the outboard passenger seat can be folded away to increase carrying capacity.
Both interiors feature rugged, durable and sustainable modern materials that offer comfort levels undreamt of by early Land Rover owners. Those chosen for the DC100 are the latest in high-tech, tough, fabrics that will survive a lifetime of the roughest treatment. In the DC100 Sport, the materials are more luxurious, featuring leather with a subtle Tribal Tech pattern, referencing a legacy of exploration.
The concepts are based on an advanced mixed-alloy platform, and represent the flexibility of design and use inherent in this very capable platform. An eight-speed transmission and a transfer case provide a wide spread of high and low ratios for on and off-road driving.
Also showcased is the next generation of Land Rover all-terrain technology. Building on the acclaimed Terrain Response® system, these systems work seamlessly together to reduce the workload on the driver by identifying potential hazards and advising safer routes to avoid them. An advanced telematics program unites the systems and allows vehicle to smartphone communication.
“These could not be designs from any other company. Defender became a global icon because of the integrity of both its design and engineering. In creating these concepts, we took the functional design cues from the past and reinterpreted them for the 21st century. These studies represent our thoughts on how we will forge an entirely new generation of Defender models which will prove that design can work in harmony with function.”
– Gerry McGovern, Design Director, Land Rover
Land Rover has a design integrity that stretches back more than 60 years. Reinventing and reinvigorating that design ethos is a challenge that has been met – in two very different ways. Each concept represents different points on the Land Rover spectrum.
Simplicity and Strength
The bodywork reflects the Land Rover practice of avoiding extraneous detailing by following the principle of form derived from function, leading to a purposeful simplicity of surface. The sharply defined shoulder line and near vertical panels of the concepts places all four corners within sight of the driver, to create a confidence-inspiring Command Driving position that is a Land Rover hallmark.
Compact dimensions, short overhangs, and 22-inch alloy wheels lend both all-terrain concepts a fittingly purposeful, foursquare stance. Further detailing – such as the triangular vent in the front fenders, hood edges set into the shoulder line, and a prominent handle set into the trailing edge of the doors – also reference Land Rover tradition.
Few vehicles in this world inspire feelings of loyalty and affection as a Land Rover Defender. Crucial to that appeal is the front-end design. The DC100 Sport and DC100 represent the latest evolution of the Defender ‘face’ that has retained its timeless appeal for 60 years.
The key elements were a sense of openness and honesty. As a vehicle used in the most extreme conditions, a Land Rover must also exude rugged dependability. This is seen to greatest effect in DC100 with its signature twin round headlamps and purposeful grille. DC100 Sport represents a more assertive, performance-oriented interpretation with a steeply raked front end.
The radically different design treatments demonstrate the modularity and flexibility of the platform. The shape of DC100 is instantly recognizable. Like the original Land Rover and the Defender that followed it, it looks equally at home alongside an English village green as traversing an Icelandic lava field.
As a dependable all-terrain workhorse, DC100 firmly emphasizes the practical side of Land Rover. An upright windscreen provides excellent visibility on and off-road while an interchangeable rear cover allows for either maximum cargo capacity or transporting additional passengers. A winch, which is capable of supporting the weight of the vehicle, is neatly integrated into the front grille. Towing eyes have been built into each corner.
The roof is equipped with solar panels to supplement power for on-board systems, reducing the load on the engine and lowering emissions. The exterior is painted in soft metallic silver specifically intended to reflect the sun’s rays, keeping the interior cool in hot climates and reducing the demands on the climate-control system. Land Rover is also researching future paint technologies that would create both self-cleaning and self-healing bodywork.
With DC100 Sport, Land Rover has created a concept that occupies its own territory. It takes its cue from the early canvas-roofed Defender with a fold-down windshield that typifies the Land Rover spirit of adventure and exploration.
Reimagined as a performance concept for the 21st century, it features a wraparound aero screen and cut-down side windows for exhilarating open-air motoring. Flowing back from the seats is a twin-humped fastback roofline, which encloses a generous load bed that includes fittings designed to secure sports equipment and adventure gear.
The DC100 Sport is finished with a metallic amber paint that echoes the vibrant ochre hues found in Africa.
Functionality and usability are two key characteristics of Land Rover interiors – the position and logic of every control should be obvious the moment the driver enters. The form and function of the concepts are visually integrated in the interior layout. The door structure flows into the cabin and flows into an elegant beam running the width of the dash. The concepts recreate the three-across seating layout seen in the Defender.
Three Across Seating
This seating arrangement extends its versatility and creates a social setting within the vehicle. The passenger seat can be folded out of the way to increase carrying capacity. The middle seat conceals a large secure storage area. In front of the middle seat is a machined aluminum tray that contains induction charging technology to power electronic devices.
This innovative layout is particularly space-efficient, allowing for integrated storage areas both above and below the central beam, and for the gearlever to be mounted on the center console. This reduces the time the driver’s hand is away from the wheel while changing gears, increasing control during off-road or high-speed driving.
Multifunctional Removable Touch screen
Like early Land Rover models, the DC100 concepts have a centrally positioned instrument cluster mounted above the gearlever. Combining the informatics functions of an instrument panel with an intuitive touch screen interface, the unit is backed by powerful telematics technology that co-ordinates the groundbreaking technologies to be found in these concepts.
All of the concepts’ functions can be controlled via this interface, using a combination of swipe and press gestures on the touch screen. The steering wheel includes four shortcut keys that reconfigure the touch screen to control functions such as navigation, audio and climate.
The control unit is removable from the dashboard to extend its functionality. Finished in shock and water-resistant silicon and equipped with its own power source, camera, and satellite connectivity, this allows it to be used as a portable navigation tool with an internal hard drive that can record waypoints, HD video footage and stills images.
The cabins of both concepts are finished with materials possessing rugged and durable qualities. All these have been chosen for their sustainability both in terms of composition and in terms of manufacture. For example, the seat foam is derived from castor oil, and semi-structural panels and sound insulating boards are made from flax and natural polymers.
Taking its cue from technical sportswear, DC100 uses the latest generation of performance materials to create an interior of premium quality that is adaptable and hardwearing. The beam running the width of the cabin, door panels and seat bolsters are trimmed in Obsidian Grey and Carbon Black Ultrafabrics®, a technical cloth found on designer furniture and super yachts. Ultrafabrics® is not only antimicrobial, water-repellent, breathable and resistant to solar aging, it is also PVC-free, low in volatile organic compounds and lightweight.
Complementing this is SuperFabric®, an almost indestructible textile with a premium feel. Normally found in protective clothing for extreme environments – including spacesuits – DC100 uses it on the seat cushions and to line the footwells and rear load space.
Aluminum is also used extensively in the vehicles. Trim material – such as the drains in the fully washable rear load bed – are made of recycled metal.
DC100 Sport achieves the same singularity of purpose with a mixture of modern and traditional materials. The seats are trimmed in the original protective material; leather, with a lightweight, breathable mesh insert in a bold "Tribal Tech" pattern. The leather is sourced from Bridge of Weir, a Scottish company with impeccable environmental credentials. The hide is covered with a 3D-textured mesh that alternately reveals and hides the Tribal Tech pattern.
The Tribal Tech pattern is repeated on the floor of DC100 Sport where floor mats are made of Ombrae™, a sculptural medium used in art installations and modern architecture. This dynamic 3D material changes its appearance through the use of light and shadow, depending on the viewing angle. The same design is also echoed in the hand-patterned Pirelli® tires.
The concepts’ outward modularity is repeated in the interior where the door canisters can be configured with options ranging from portable barbecue sets to field first-aid kits.
The rear compartment features fully configurable load spaces. Down the center of each is an aluminum inductive power strip, which powers a removable compartment that can be chilled or heated– perfect for picnics on the beach or hot drinks on the slopes.
The inductive power strip can be used to charge a range of power tools on the move, with supplementary equipment carried in flanking containers. A further charging area to one side is used for charging a portable speaker system, from audio specialists Meridian, that wirelessly streams music from the vehicle to the speaker This feature can be also be used to charge communications equipment or laptops.
Technology and Capability
These two concepts showcase the next generation of technologies that will extend Land Rover’s reputation for legendary all-terrain prowess and 365 day-a-year usability.
21st Century Capabilities
As with any Land Rover, both DC100 designs have towing and load-carrying capabilities that exceed expectations but use two different and well-proven Land Rover suspension systems specifically tailored to their distinct performance parameters.
DC100 uses an air suspension system that allows ride height to be altered by up to 12.6 inches for extreme approach and departure angles, axle articulation and ground clearance. The performance suspension in the DC100 Sport uses the third-generation MagneRide™ adjustable suspension for sporting on-road handling with all-terrain capability.
New off-road technologies will extend the capabilities of the Land Rover Terrain Response® system. These new technologies allow the system to automatically optimize the vehicle for any environment without driver selection. This system analyzes data from sensors that assess suspension travel, steering angle, wheel slip and braking and acceleration inputs. The vehicle will react continuously and unobtrusively by altering spring, damper, gearing and power delivery parameters.
The Terrain Response® on the DC100 concepts also features High-Definition cameras mounted on the front to analyze the ground ahead. This is then compared to images stored within a predictive neural network and allows the system to determine visually, for example, the difference between sand, grass, mud, gravel, snow and asphalt. The system will use this data to alter the off-road performance parameters.
Intelligent Terrain Mapping
Acting as an early-warning system is the state-of-the-art Terrain-i mapper that creates a virtual 3D visualization of the ground ahead, displayed on the central touch screen. Similar to systems used by fighter pilots, Terrain-i uses a headlamp-mounted scanner that runs complex algorithms to assess the route ahead and warn the driver of obstacles potentially too large to be safely negotiated.
Terrain-i will suggest alternatives, displaying a safer route on the screen. Cameras mounted on each corner also give the driver a 360-degree field of vision.
Terrain-i also plays a vital support role in crowded urban environments where the scanner system can identify pedestrians and obstacles. This can initially warn the driver and then attempt to stop the vehicle if action is not taken.
Land Rover has developed a sonar-based system for assessing water depth that allows the driver to make informed decisions as to whether to proceed into flooded areas.
The system utilizes sensors mounted in the bumpers and side mirrors. These are able to measure depth and by working in conjunction with inclinometers recognize whether the level is increasing or decreasing. This information is displayed on the central touch screen.
The system will also automatically optimize the concept for water crossing by raising the ride height, closing body vents, selecting a lower gear to maintain engine revs and advising on the optimum speed for the depth of water, allowing a maximum wading depth of 29.5 inches.
Further allowing the concepts to adjust to changing conditions is a driver-deployable spiked tire system. This is operated by an electro-mechanical system mounted within the tire; activation of the technology permits air to inflate a secondary air chamber, filling pods moulded into the tread of the tire and which contain the spikes. The spikes rise just above the tread surface and fix into place for driving on packed snow and ice. When conditions have eased, the spikes can be retracted, obviating the need to carry two sets of tires or snow chains.
Underpinning these systems is a telematics program that seamlessly integrates many vehicle functions and presents information to the driver in the clearest, most straightforward manner. The telematics systems allow communication between the vehicle and a smartphone or laptop, allowing the owner to check everything from the tire pressure to the cabin temperature and operate the climate control remotely.
In addition, the telematics system can store data from every one of the vehicle’s journeys and download them for comparison. For example, information from the Wade Aid system could chart changes in water depth, or data from the traction control could be used to assess the rate of terrain erosion.
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The system also has full on-the-move connectivity via 3G and satellite and can deliver not just traffic alerts but also weather warnings for remoter areas.
Land Rover prides itself on offering solutions to everyday as well as extraordinary situations. Having a key to carry can hamper athletic activities. Using RFID technology, the key can be embedded into impact or water resistant objects such as watches and wristbands. These allow the main key fob to be left in a slot in the glove box, which deactivates it and transfers its security functions to the rugged item containing the RFID chip. Once the vehicle is secured, only that specific RFID smart tag will allow access.
Future developments of the system will allow each family member their own smart tag, which would save their personal audio, climate, communication, and seating settings. This would also allow parents to restrict vehicle power and speed when their children use it. Third-generation smart tags could also include biometric data that could use facial recognition systems to increase security.
A Park Assist system, can parallel park the vehicles with minimal inputs from the driver. Sensors scan the side of the road to select a suitably sized space. If the driver confirms the selection, the DC100 Sport can then reverse into the space, performing all the steering functions automatically while the driver retains control over the brakes and accelerator.
Land Rover is actively researching the next generation of powertrains appropriate to the extreme uses and environmental challenges to which its vehicles are put. In association with research centers, suppliers, and universities, the company is looking at a wide range of options to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Intelligent Engine Start/Stop
The two concepts are fitted with an eight-speed ZF® automatic transmission with Intelligent Start/Stop. Designed with future hybridization in mind, the gearbox utilizes a Twin Solenoid Starter system that offers considerable benefits over more conventional Start/Stop technologies such as the ability to restart the engine during its shutdown phase. The addition of a transfer case offers a wide spread of ratios, while steering wheel-mounted gear selection paddles afford manual gear control both on and off-road.
Powerful and Efficient Powertrains
Both concepts are powered by 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. The go-anywhere DC100 is diesel-powered for maximum mud-bogging torque while the more performance-oriented DC100 Sport is gasoline-powered for a sportier drive. Both engines are capable of being configured as parallel or plug-in hybrids.
A new electronic torque vectoring system maximizes the stability, traction and handling on any surface. As opposed to purely mechanical differentials, electronic torque vectoring can channel specific amounts of power to each individual wheel. For on-road driving, this allows a sportier and safer drive, with the torque vectoring acting to enhance vehicle performance and stability. During off-road driving, torque vectoring confers even greater benefits, being able to infinitely and instantaneously send torque to whichever combination of the four wheels has the most grip.
Driveline Disconnect can reduce frictional losses by disconnecting the rear axle unless conditions dictate that four-wheel drive is required. Unlike conventional switchable four-wheel drive, which reroutes engine power electronically, the Land Rover system physically decouples the rear propshaft from the center differential for greater efficiency benefits. The system can swiftly recouple and send drive to the rear wheels when it detects a loss of traction.