US interest in the Defender concepts is strong
New Defender starts here But Land Rover admits it needs to find a different niche for the new 4x4 if it is to have wide appeal
LAND ROVER BEGAN the process of replacing the iconic 63-year-old Defender at the Frankfurt motor show, with insiders confirming that the all-new 2015 car will be a direct replacement for the existing super-rugged model.
The DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts preview two potential directions for the new Defender. Land Rover is now set to conduct live customer research with the concepts as a way of shaping the final format for the new model.
Sources admitted that the need to provide ‘go-anywhere’ ability and the capacity to tow heavy loads will mean that fuel economy cannot be an overriding priority with the new model. It is also likely that the new Defender will get a bespoke new platform, despite the cost-saving possibilities of using the new Evoque’s platform.
Land Rover believes that the marque still has “considerable brand equity” in the global market for utility SUVs. But insiders hint that the new Defender will be the product of “finding white space in an established market, as we did with the Evoque”, which means the final production car may not be a direct competitor for vehicles such as the Toyota Land Cruiser.
US interest in the new Defender model is said to be particularly strong, with one source telling Autocar that “54 per cent of all media coverage” of the concepts originated in North America. HILTON HOLLOWAY
The Jaguar C-X16 will cost between £55,000 and £70,000 when it goes on sale, company boss Adrian Hallmark confirmed at Frankfurt. A production version — a roadster, not a coupé — is likely to be unveiled at next year’s Geneva show. The roadster is also likely to get a supercharged V6 rather than the CX-16’s hybrid drivetrain, although Hallmark is confident the petrol-electric set-up can be engineered for production.
Renault promises ‘emotional’ Clio in 2012
Renaultsport Twingo previews the firm’s new design direction
THE FOURTH-GENERATION Renault Clio will be launched at the Paris motor show in 12 months’ time. It will be the first all-new car to be styled under Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker, although the revised Twingo and Renaultsport Twingo, on show at Frankfurt, preview some of the new design themes, particularly at the front.
The firm is promising a more “emotional” design that also draws inspiration from last year’s DeZir concept, a higher-quality,
driver-focused interior and a vast improvement in perceived quality for the new supermini, which, Autocar can confirm, will only be offered as a five-door.
Renault’s product planning chief, Beatrice Foucher, also confirmed that the French firm would be launching a new coupé to sit between the Mégane and the Laguna. There will be a hot Renaultsport version of the new car, which could possibly carry the Alpine name.
Renault’s Frankfurt show stand also featured its radical Frendzy car/van concept, the fourth of six van den Acker concepts to preview the new design language. The final two are expected in 2013.
Lambo gives say-so to Sesto Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann confirmed that the Sesto Elemento will make it into limited production of just 20 units. The 562bhp V10 will hit 62mph in just 2.5sec.
The fast and the frugal-ish Alpina’s new 5-series-based D5 Biturbo made its debut at Frankfurt. The 241bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six diesel-engined machine cracks 0-62mph in 5.2sec and returns 45.6mpg.
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