Land Rover has dreamed up a gorgeous 21st-century re-imagining of the canvas-roofed Defenders of yesteryear. Behold, mud merchants, the DC100 Sport.
Actually, 21-st century is a bit of an understatement. The DC100 Sport, a topless version of the newly unveiled DC100 concept, packs so much tech it could feature in a James Bond film with absolutely no intervention from Q.
For starters, the car features a removable multi-function, water-repellant touchscreen display that works a bit like an iPad. As standard, it can be used to view the car's information and entertainment systems, but it can also be removed and used outside the vehicle as a portable navigation tool that can record waypoints, HD video footage and still images. Try that with your TomTom.
Round the back, the DC100 Sport has an inductive charging strip that can be used to chill or heat a removable compartment -- great for keeping picnics at just the right temperature. A second charging area is used to charge a removable Meridian speaker system that can play music streamed from the car's built in hard drive to just about wherever you like.
Want more? Well how about a set of front-mounted cameras that analyse the road ahead to determine whether the DC100 Sport is traversing sand, grass, mud, gravel snow or asphalt? This, in conjunction with an intelligent terrain mapping system, creates a virtual 3D visualisation of the ground ahead and displays it on the touchscreen, giving you a better impression of what Ma Nature has placed ahead of you.
You needn't worry your pretty little head about it though, because that data is also passed to Land Rover's fancypants Terrain Response off-roading system, which alters the car's mud-wrangling parameters accordingly.
In true Bond fashion, the DC100 Sport features on-demand, driver-deployable spiked tyres. At the push of a button, air inflates a secondary chamber inside the tyre, which forces spikes through the tyre's tread surface. These then lock into place, providing extra grip on packed snow and ice. They can also be retracted on demand, which eliminates the need to carry multiple tyre types or snow chains.
Off road, the DC100 Sport makes use of an air suspension system that can raise and lower ride height by up to 320mm, while on road, it uses magnetically-controlled dampers that firm things up, providing sportier handling.
Last, but certainly not least, an onboard sonar sensor determines the depth of bodies of water, warning the driver not to attempt a crossing if it's too deep for the DC100 Sport to handle.
Currently, the DC100 Sport is still in its concept phase, but Land Rover is committed to building a new Defender by as early as 2015. Given the company's recent history of bringing concepts to life, there's a very good chance this yellow beast, or some version of it, will become a reality.
Have a gander at the pictures in our gallery above.