Land Rover to target Toyota Hilux, which sold 549,000 units worldwide in 2011 It is not known if there has been a deliberate policy of releasing “miss-information” from Land Rover’s headquarters, or that whatever information was released has been interpreted mischievously by the British motoring press. Possibly a combination of the two?! Recent speculation within the press, has certainly caused some concern - at least to this observer of the British automotive industry ! + Speculation that the Range Rover Sport, and the Discovery, would both be replaced by a single “slopey-roofed” seven seat vehicle - promised an unwieldy, elongated, ungainly, and inelegant ’Sport replacement; and, a compromised, restricted headroom (for the third row of seats), replacement for the Discovery. + Speculation about a “slopey-roofed” replacement for the Range Rover, seemed to miss altogether the required presence, gravitas, and rear headroom, associated with the Range Rover - now firmly ensconced within the industry’s “luxury” market sector. However, for those who are interested in the continuing success and prosperity of the British automotive industry, the 28 MARCH 2012 issue of AUTOCAR (pages 6 to 9), lays to rest most of the above concerns. Fortunately, pages 6 and 7, of the 28 MARCH 2012 issue of AUTOCAR, confirm that the, Whilst page 9, confirms that there is still the possibility of an elongated “slopey-roofed” seven seat ’Sport, it is suggested that this is in-addition-to, the continuation of the existing, elegant ’Sport. The possibility of an elongated “slopey-roofed” Evoque XL, is also shown. Fortunately, it is suggested that this too, would be in-addition-to, the continuation of the very popular, and successful, recently announced, three and five door (standard) Evoque. Page 9, of the 28 MARCH 2012 issue of AUTOCAR, confirms that the much-touted DC100 is actually likely to be a “ . . £20,000 to £25,000 in reality . . . new entry-level model of what Land Rover internally refers to as its leisure-oriented range . . ”. It is suggested that the rest of the “leisure range” of vehicles is - would continue to be - the Freelander, and the Discovery. However, AUTOCAR reports that, The previous re-styling of both the Freelander, and the Discovery, to include the “bling” of the Range Rover’s “cheese-grater” radiator grill/front styling, has certainly led to confusion as to where both these two models are meant to be, and as to what both these two models are meant to represent. The much-lauded front styling of the DC100, could/should be adopted as the “face” of all the “leisure range” of vehicles that will continue to include the Freelander, and the Discovery. As both the existing Freelander, and the Discovery, are now a little long-in-the-tooth, they would both be rejuvenated - and it would herald the arrival of the DC100 as a £20,000 to £25,000 new entry-level model, below them - if the much lauded “face” (radiator grill/front styling), of the DC100 were to be grafted on to both the Freelander, and the Discovery, before they are both eventually replaced by totally new models. Unfortunately, page 9 of the 28 MARCH 2012 issue of AUTOCAR, shows the proposed new utility Defender replacement - that is going to target the success of the Toyota Hilux which (with double wishbone/coil front suspension, and industry standard semi-elliptic leaf spring rear suspension), sold 549,000 units worldwide in 2011 - as being part of the DC100, Freelander, and Discovery, range of “leisure” vehicles. This may have only been done because of a lack of space in the magazine. However, as it is acknowledged that the proposed new utility Defender replacement, is separate, and distinct, + from the DC100, Freelander, and Discovery, range of “leisure” vehicles and, + certainly from the whole range of vehicles that comprise the Range Rover sub brand of “luxury” vehicles. It would have been helpful if the various models that comprise the proposed variants of the new utility Defender replacement, could have been shown in its own, individual, column. It is certainly a task that Land Rover’s design chief Gerry McGovern will relish, to design yet a new, third, distinctive “face” (radiator grill/front styling), that will clearly differentiate the new utility Defender replacement, from again, + the DC100, Freelander, and Discovery, range of “leisure” vehicles and, + certainly from the whole range of vehicles that comprise the Range Rover sub brand of “luxury” vehicles. Land Rover earlier protested that it would not seek volume sales, but would adopt the previous naïve Porsche “business plan” as one that would be followed by Land Rover. This blatantly ignored the requirement, necessity (now accepted by Porsche!), for a “critical mass” (wherever it is generated!), to guarantee certain economies of scale in Research & Development, production, marketing and distribution. (This is still something yet to be realised by Aston Martin). Fortunately, a “side-box” on page 9, of the 28 MARCH 2012 issue of AUTOCAR, confirms that, With different, distinctive “faces” (radiator grills/front styling), to differentiate and identify all the vehicles within the three separate ranges, sub-brands, it is suggested the appropriate basic mechanical distinctive characteristics would be . . . . “Utility” DEFENDER “HILUX” ( “Work Rover” / “Hard Rover” ) - Industry standard semi-elliptic leaf spring rear suspension - robust, easy to improvise repair. - Low-range transfer case. - Optional lockable rear differential. - Ladder frame chassis. Volkswagen Amarok v's Toyota Hilux Car Review - YouTube Dual-cab 4WD utes compared: Toyota HiLux versus rivals - www.drive.com.au Toyota Hilux Pick Up Review | What Car? http://www.toyota.co.uk/cgi-bin/toyota/bv/frame_start.jsp?id=CC2-Hilux-landing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Hilux “Leisure” DC100 - FREELANDER - DISCOVERY ( “Home Rover” / ”lay Rover” - All round coil spring suspension - with exception of . . . . - Self-levelling rear (only) air suspension on Discovery’s seven-seat option. http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/262062/ http://www.landrover.com/gb/en/lr/defender-concept/photo-and-video/ “Luxury” EVOQUE - ’SPORT - RANGE ROVER - etc. ( “osh Rover” - All round coil spring suspension, only on range “entry models”. - All round air suspension on rest of range. Observations from others are invited . . . . (It has been a long Easter holiday !!) Advice would be appreciated how to move individual photos, to the appropriate position within the text.