Is a front-wheel drive Baby Land Rover 80 in the offing? It’s 2020 — anything’s possible
What’s the world coming to? Last week we shocked you with fist images of the Ferrari’s first 4×4. And now this:
The rumour mill is running amok over a smaller, cheaper new Land Rover Defender. And there’s a major carrot that has been staring us in the face for almost a decade already. A R500K entry Land Rover would attack the still booming compact SUV segment and also protect the embattled JLR from the threat of those ever-tighter and more draconian EU and other fleet CO2 fines.
FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE, 3 CYLINDERS
The Land Rover in these pictures is the 2011 DC-100 Sport concept. Punters say it will be the new 2022 ‘Baby Defender’. Known internally as the L860, odds are on it being a front-wheel drive 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo. Further speculation suggests that a four-cylinder petrol plug-in hybrid with all-wheel drive will follow.
The front-wheel drive Landy — oi vei — will be developed on JLR parent Tata’s Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced Architecture platform. Omega-Arc underpins the Tata Harrier, a budget version of the Land Rover D8 steel platform that carried the first Evoque. It allows the inclusion of smaller battery packs. Tata already makes 85kW 360kW turbo petrol and 70kW 200Nm turbodiesel 3-cylinder engines.
TWO-DOOR, SHORTER THAN THE 90
The two door concept had even shorter wheelbase than the old Defender 90. A showroom spec Land Rover 80 (it remains unclear if it would be part of the Defender range) would rival the likes of the Jeep Compass and Mini Countryman.
A Baby Defender, Land Rover 80, Defender 80 is probably unavoidable, whether it fits Land Rover’s rugged 4×4 brand or not. Rumours around it coming sound conclusive too. But an inexpensive plug-in hybrid Land Rover using already partially developed tech would slash JLR range CO2 emissions. Even if a new platform flies in the face of JLR’s parallel program od reducing its number of car platforms.
So you tell us – what’s the bigger shock – the 4×4 Ferrari? Or this FWD Land Rover?