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Roadshow Video Reviews
Land Rover Defender ConceptAt the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, Land Rover unveils their plans to bring back the Defender to U.S. shores, this time with some new wrinkles in tech.
What's ironic, the Land Rover Defender isn't sold in the U.S. these days because it doesn't meet U.S. crash standards, kinda strange for a vehicle that's always been so tough and ragged. It's like a little vault on wheels. They're ready to bring it back. This is one of the DC100 concepts. The idea here is to bring this forward in 2 different ways. One is kind of sporty cabriolet-like; the other one more traditional defender like this. Among the high-tech features, I'm looking at one right here supposedly self-cleaning paint. I wanna see that work after you go through a big old muddy gully full of rocks, right? Now, technologies in the front of a car that look forward interestingly have 2 things: one is called terrain eye. Get it? Terrain eye? It's a scanning technology that builds a 3D virtual map of what the terrain is in front of you and the car can say, "You know what? You're coming up on a lump or a gully that I can't deal with. Why don't you go this way or that way?" And there's one called Wade Aid technology that will figure out how deep the water is you think you're about to fall without conking the car and tell you if you can actually do that. They said the car can get through 750 mm of depth. That's what-- that's about 6-1/2 long cigarettes, whatever that comes out to. What is that, about a yard? Here's one right at the 007. There's apparently a button inside the car that they envision as extending the spikes on the tires. I mean they're not spikes to kill people, but just to get some grip. Inside, all kinds of interesting technology. Check out this pop-up display. We've seen this in cars even in production right now. But if this goes into production, this would actually snap out. It's like a tablet you'd carry with you to do navigation on foot to continue your journey after you run into something you can't drive over anymore. 8-speed automatic transmission right here, part of an efficiency message. I don't wanna put any big old horsey V8 or even V6 in these cars anymore. We're talking about 2-liter hybrid motors even plug-in hybrids. And the driveline on this vehicle would physically disconnect when you're not using all-wheel drive to further cut losses. No place to put a key on this car that I see and even if it went to production, there wouldn't be 'cause they envisioned an RFID Adventure key, which would obviously be a lot better to have in your pocket when you're out in the mud and the wet than one of those actual physical electronic keys. Now this is a vision from maybe 2015. It's not gonna be in your Land Rover showroom anytime soon, but it does bring back the Defender brand, which they love to have on the showroom floor in the U.S. as well as around the world.