A pair of slightly evolved DC100 Concepts will be showcased at the LA Auto Show.
Land Rover has refreshed the DC100 and open-topped DC100 Sport for the LA Auto Show in order to appease the critics that have questioned its off-road capabilities. Revisions include optimized off-road 20-inch alloys & tires, and expedition accessories such as a roof rack and a raised air-intake 'snorkel' for wading through deep water. It's also been given a fresh coat of paint, namely Heritage Blue with a Candy Weiss white roof. The beachcomber look of the yellow C100 Sport remains unchanged.
Although bringing the concepts to LA is presumably to gauge US public reaction, Land Rover boss John Edwards, when talking to Autocar, claims the new 4x4 "must be capable, useable, abusable (sic) and appropriate for the third world market. "Sometimes we talk too much about Californian surfer dudes and not enough about the Red Cross, Zambia or the Australian Outback. If we happen to be able to sell it in California as well that's nice, but that's not the most important bit for us." For hard-core off-roading a host of high-tech aids have been packed into the concepts.
These include the acclaimed Terrain Response system that automatically adjusts suspension and power settings depending on the terrain. A new Terrain-i system also features, which creates a 3D map of the topography, identifying potential hazards and suggesting alternative routes. In cities this will translate to advising drivers of road hazards and pedestrians ahead of them. Back to off-roading and when crossing water, a new Wade Aid system utilizes sonar sensors to measure water depth and to optimize the car when crossing water, such as closing vents, increasing ride height and selecting a lower gear.
The DC100 Concept also showcases a driveline disconnect system, sending power only to the front unless AWD is required. Essentially, this will maximize fuel efficiency by making the car predominantly FWD. While the new Range Rover has focused on luxury, the Defender places emphasis firmly on utility. Land Rover clearly want to cater to different customer requirements, and after the new 100 model hits the showrooms in 2015 a continuation of existing Defender models may well be on the agenda.