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New Defender DC100 Sport Design

Land Rover reveals chunky DC100 Sport Design at Frankfurt, lifestyle model gets petrol engine, road-biased suspension

The current Land Rover Defender comes in lots of different bodystyles – and it looks as if its replacement will be just as versatile, after bosses revealed the DC100 Sport Concept. 

The car was a surprise addition to Land Rover's press conference, designed specifically to show off just how versatile the British firm thinks the basic concept for the car will be.

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Unveiling the car, Land Rover brand director John Edwards said; "This vehicle will have broad appeal, and we believe will be as popular with commercial users as private buyers."

"We are an ambitious business, making unprecedented investment in product, and we can promise that there are lots of versions of the DC100 on the drawing board."

Design Director Gerry McGovern continued; "We have no desire to mimic the past with this car, This must be a vehicle for the future."

It’s based on the same platform as the DC100 Concept, and Land Rover sees the car as evoking the spirit of the early canvas-roofed Defenders that featured fold-down windscreens. The twin humps at the rear hide a boot that has been designed specifically to hold “extreme sports equipment”. 

There are a few changes over the DC100 inside, too. The seats are trimmed in leather, and hi-tech kit includes a wireless charging strip that runs the length of the cabin. There’s even a special charging area for a removable speaker system. 

While the DC100 is powered by a four-cylinder diesel, the Sport gets a petrol engine, and can be specified as a plug-in hybrid. An eight-speed auto and stop-start also feature. 

The Sport is designed primarily with on-road use in mind, and Land Rover has fitted the same MagneRide suspension as in the Evoque. This should provide a decent balance between rugged ability and everyday road driving. There’s also a Park Assist system that completes parallel manoeuvres without steering input from the driver. 

But as it’s a Land Rover, the Sport still has to be unstoppable off-road. So it features Auto Terrain Response – an enhanced version of the Terrain Response system found on current production models. This optimises gear ratios, power delivery and suspension settings to suit the surface. The DC100 features the same set-up. 

Another system, called Terrain-i, scans the route ahead, and provides alternative directions if it senses it’s impassable. WadeAid incorporates sonar to measure water depths, while spikes in the tyres can be deployed at the touch of a button.

Land Rover has already confirmed that a Defender replacement will arrive in 2015, so expect to see a Sport variant forming part of the line-up.

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