Land Rover is synonymous with a few things: sustainability, durability, and high performance in an array of terrains. With more than a few iconic vehicles under their belt, all built around the aforementioned brand values and ideals, it’s no surprise the maker of the luxurious-yet-functional-SUV is pushing the boundaries yet again with the DC100 and Evoque Convertible. Both are strictly concepts, built to gauge reactions and assess potential for future marketability. Andrew Polsinelli, General Manager of Land Rover Product Planning, walks us through each concept.
BoldRide: The Range Rover Evoque’s been on sale for half a year and is regarded as a global success. Why mess with what’s working and turn it into a convertible?
: The Evoque Coupe
was a natural evolution. We surprised everyone by producing a two-door SUV, but we did that because it looked right. We made the sportier, two-door version for the folks who wanted it. And once we made a coupe, it was a no-brainer to take the top off and see how it looks as a convertible
. And in the case of the Evoque, it looks pretty good.
What’s the reaction to the prototype been?
There has been an interesting mix. There are folks who say you can’t build an SUV convertible, but then they see it and realize it kind of looks right. We produce all wheel drive vehicles, permanent four-wheel drive vehicles that excel off-road. And even as a convertible this vehicle is off road capable. Although obviously you’re going to take this on safari, since you may get a little closer to the animals then you’d probably want with the top down.
Where’s the ideal setting for owning an Evoque Convertible?
Well, can you imagine keeping one around New York City? If it snows, keep the top up and you can drive it because it’s all wheel drive. Or if you want to go look at the leaves in Vermont, drop the top and drive on up. And on that curvy, two-lane country road, it’s going to be perfect.
Onto the DC100. This is a potential design replacement for the Defender, correct?
Yes. We announced a bit ago that we’re going to replace the current Defender
model, which is still selling well abroad. We haven’t sold the Defender in the States since 1997, and they’re still so in demand here that they’re selling used for more money than when they were new. With the DC100
, we’re exploring the possibility of bringing it back to the U.S. market.
What’s similar about the original Defender and this DC100?
The DC100 has essential Defender design cues for the 21st century. That includes short overhangs for extreme approach and departure angles, vertical panels, an upright windscreen and strong shoulder line for visibility and ease of positioning and the Defender ‘face’ with its signature round lamps and prominent grille.
You can outfit the DC100s to particular needs, too.
Absolutely. For example, we have our expedition version with a kit on the roof, lightbar in the front, off-road tires, a snorkel for water crossings, and even a solar panel on the roof to power up the car. The beauty of our products is they can be whatever you want them to be. We can build a stripped down version you can take on safari in Africa, or you can use them for work in any developing nation. Or you can dress it up and drive around the city with it.
A lot has changed since 1997, technologically speaking. If made, what would the new DC100 have that the old Defender didn’t?
For one, Land Rover’s acclaimed Terrain Response system, which will optimize the car for a multitude of conditions without any driver input. We’ve also got the new Terrain-i system. This creates a 3D map of the land in front of the car, to help you avoid potential hazards and pick an alternate route. And it’s got Wade Aid, which helps prepare the car for water crossings by closing various vents, raising the ride height and selecting a lower gear. It measures the water depth by using sonar sensors in the bumpers and side mirrors. We’ve got a bunch of great new innovations.
Which would you like to see go into production: the DC100 or the Evoque Convertible?
See more of the DC100 Concept
and Evoque Convertible Concept