Land Rover was offering a survey on the DC100 concept and as I went through it, one choice made me literally laugh out loud.
A classic feature from the original Land Rover Series vehicles, the power take off, an optional item that allowed the Land Rover’s engine to power all sort of accessories. From a generator and welder to an air compressor or power saw. It gave the original Land Rover that “tractor” functionality that really made it popular.
So back to the survey, they give a list of the new features and ask you to rank your top three.
- Spiked tyres
- Removable sound system
- Driveline Disconnect
And then the fourth item in the list:
Power take-off – Inductive charging areas throughout the cabins and rear load spaces which can charge and power any number of modern electronic devices.
I bet marketing had real fun with that one. While I can complain about it, it is a modern interpretation of the PTO. I just laughed and got slightly more worried about what the next Defender really will be.
I have no problem with modernizing it, but please don’t make it look so much like a toy!
So here we see the first alternate version of the DC100’s we saw in Frankfurt. There is supposed to be something similar for the LA Show this week. I have to say from certain angles, I really like, from others, I don’t.
Today (November 10, 2011) Land Rover’s DC100 concept makes its Middle Eastern Debut at the 2011 Dubai International Motor Show. The DC100 concept explores the possible design and technological direction of the new Defender.
Evolved since its unveiling at Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the DC100 concept now features off-road optimised 20-inch alloy wheels with Cooper all-terrain tyres. It is finished in a distinctive colour combination of Fuji White paint with a Santorini Black roof.
The DC100 reinvents the essential Defender design cues for the 21st century. These include short overhangs for extreme approach and departure angles; vertical panels, upright windscreen and strong shoulder line for visibility and ease of positioning and of course the honest Defender ‘face’ with its signature round lamps and prominent grille, incorporating a winch.
For more than six decades Land Rover has been leading the way in developing engineering solutions that give all its products an unrivalled ability to tackle the toughest terrain while remaining comfortable, refined and undemanding of their drivers. The DC100 is no exception, previewing an entire portfolio of cutting-edge technology that will allow the future Land Rovers to go even further beyond.
The core attributes of capability and versatility are underpinned by a suite of innovative off-road technological aids that work seamlessly together to reduce the workload on the driver.
Foremost of these is the next generation of Land Rover’s acclaimed Terrain Response system which will automatically optimise the car for any conditions without driver pre-selection. It does so by combining data from myriad sensors assessing wheel slip, suspension travel, steering angle, brake and accelerator inputs with information provided by HD cameras mounted in the front of the car. These analyse the visual spectrum of the terrain ahead of the car and compare it with images stored within a predictive neural network to identify surface conditions.
The Terrain-i system creates an intelligent map of the topography in front of the car and displays it as a 3D visualisation similar to those used in fighter planes. Terrain-i is able to automatically analyse the environs a full 360-degrees around the vehicles, identify potential hazards and suggest alternative routes. In urban environments the same system is able to identify pedestrians and other hazards with great accuracy.
Further innovations are targeted at specific conditions often encountered during both on and off-road driving. Wade Aid utilises sonar sensors mounted in the bumpers and wing mirrors to measure water depth and inclinometers to assess whether the level is increasing or decreasing, displaying all the information to the driver in an intuitive graphic. As with Terrain Response, Wade Aid will optimise the car for a water crossing by closing body vents, raising the ride height, selecting a low gear and advising on the safest speed.
Another tool for tackling rapidly changing conditions is provided by a torque vectoring programme which automatically and instantly directs torque to the wheels with most grip, creating an infinitely adjustable traction control system for both tarmac and off-road driving.
Sustainability has always been a Land Rover hallmark – more than three-quarters of the almost two million Defenders made are still doing regular duty – and the DC100 concepts extend this commitment with new technologies that will reduce their environmental impact. The first is an intelligent Twin-Solenoid Stop/Start system mated to the latest eight-speed automatic gearbox, both of which have been designed with future hybridisation in mind. Secondly is the unique Driveline Disconnect system which sends power to the front-axle only unless conditions demand all-wheel drive. Unlike conventional systems, this physically, rather than electronically, decouples the rear-axle to reduce friction losses but can reengage drive almost instantaneously
Described by Land Rover:
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.
While all they’re showing now is some CG video, it’s exciting to see the things they’re thinking up! Below you can see the shots showing a normal looking tire which instantly gets snow cleats!