Land Rover DC100 Concept Preview

  • Terrain-i technology
  • Wade Aid water fording system
  • Stop/Start fuel-saving system
  • Driveline Disconnect system

Land Rover says that its pair of DC100 concept vehicles "investigate the potential design direction for a replacement for the iconic Defender" SUV. Land Rover intends to introduce a new Defender model in 2015, but has not decided whether the new off-roader will be sold in the United States.

Exterior Features
The Land Rover DC100 Concept is the hardtop version of the vehicle, while the DC100 Sport is the convertible variant equipped with a folding canvas roof and a fold-down windshield. Both incorporate traditional Defender design cues such as short front and rear overhangs for better off-road capability, vertical side body panels, prominent shoulders, an upright windshield, and round headlights flanking Land Rover's signature grille design.

Notably, the DC100 hardtop features a roof rack and a raised air-intake "snorkel," the latter signifying the true off-road intent of this pair of concepts. Both models ride on 20-inch aluminum wheels.

Interior Features
The DC100 concepts feature three-across front seating, which the company says is inspired by early Land Rover models. They also come with inductive charging stations to recharge occupant communication devices, as well as connectivity and telematics systems that are "always on" and support a variety of remote communications.

Under the Hood
Land Rover divulges few details with regard to the DC100's powertrain, other than to say that a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline or diesel engine is planned. Land Rover claims the DC100 is "designed with future hybridization in mind" and specifically names plug-in hybrid technology as something the next Defender will offer. Additionally, the DC100 concepts feature an "intelligent Twin-Solenoid Stop/Start" system and an 8-speed automatic transmission.

As is expected in a Land Rover, 4-wheel drive is included and features a next-generation version of the company's Terrain Response system, which allows the driver to program powertrain response to the type of surface the vehicle is traversing. A new Driveline Disconnect system is also explored here, a fuel-saving measure that allows the DC100 to operate as a 2-wheel-drive vehicle until 4WD is necessary.

New to Land Rover is a Terrain-i technology that surveys the topography in front of the DC100 and provides a mapped 3-D display of the land ahead on the vehicle's dashboard information screen. Terrain-i is designed to suggest alternative routes around obstacles and impassable landscapes, and also works in urban environments to identify pedestrians and other hazards ahead of the vehicle.

The Land Rover DC100 concepts also showcase Land Rover's new Wade Aid technology, which can measure water depth using sensors mounted in the bumpers and side mirrors and raise the ride height, close body vents, choose a proper gear, and advise on a recommended speed to safely cross water hazards.