Home2011 Los Angeles Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Land Rover DC100 Concept

What is it? The Land Rover DC100 and DC100 Sport made their North American debut at the LA Auto Show, presenting the future design direction for the long-awaited, next-generation Defender. In LA, Land Rover is seeking public reaction to determine if it should bring the redux Defender to the U.S. market.

The Defender has been a British motoring icon for 60 years, much like with Jeep Wrangler here in the States, with a key difference—it has changed very little through the years. Offered in several distinct configurations over time, the Defender has served military duty, transported adventurers, and worked farms. For off-roaders, its purpose-built simplicity gives it appeal, and for well-heeled Anglophiles, it has served as the equivalent of driving a civilian Hummer.

What’s new or notable? Both concepts are decidedly 21st-century vehicles based on a lightweight platform that explores the use of high-tech materials. Numerous technologies are showcased, such as Terrain-i, a scanning system that can warn of obstacles and suggest alternative routes. Wade Aid measures water depth with sonar to aid in fording streams. Going into a sci-fi realm, the DC100 also demonstrates tire spikes that can be deployed by the driver.

The DC100 concepts feature a permanent four-wheel-drive system motivated by either a 2.0-liter gasoline or diesel engine paired to an eight-speed transmission. Both engines are part of a hybrid system.

CR’s take: These concepts promise to leapfrog the Defender into a new century, but will it be too much of a departure for legions of fans, or just the right mix to garner a fresh audience? Time will tell.

When will it be available? 2015ish.

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