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Land Rover DC100 Gets Buzz Cut In Frankfurt

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On: Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 11:29AM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover DC100 Gets Buzz Cut In Frankfurt

I was pretty hard on the DC100 concept when I first saw it. Not so much because it's a terrible concept on its own, but because it's designed as a potential replacement for the Defender. In that role, the DC100 comes up way short. It's not a bad road-centric Rover, but it definitely doesn't convey the sense of adventure and off-road utility that a Defender should.

Well, the loss of a top helps, but doesn't exactly save, the DC100.

While we thought we'd seen all there was to see of the DC100 via Land Rover's sneak peek; it turns out the SUV-maker left a little twist for Frankfurt: the topless DC100 Sport.

Unveiled on the floor of the Frankfurt Motor Show, the DC100 Sport helps to bring a little more adventure to the look of the concept. Like the open-top Jeep Wrangler you envy on warm, breezy summer days, the DC100 just begs you to hop in with no particular destination in mind, drive and keep on driving. However, it's still in desperate need of a rougher, more hardcore look if it wants to own the Defender badge.

Hopefully, Land Rover will fix that glaring problem by the time the new Defender rolls around. The company doesn't plan to launch the model until 2015 and has admitted that the DC100 is but a possible direction to take the design. There's still time to abort and find a new direction.

Perhaps to complement its weak looks, the DC100 trades in the Defender's V-8 for a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The Sport features a gas engine, while the hard-topped DC100 features a diesel. An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission handles gear toggling.

While the exterior screams "soccer mom going to the mall!!!," the interior does get some off-road-worthy equipment like antimicrobial, water-repellant, breathable Ultrafabrics on the door panels and seat bolsters, and SuperFabrics on the seat cushions and rear cargo space. Of course, it also gets some toys for the aforementioned soccer mom, including a removable touchscreen infotainment display and vehicle-to-smartphone communications.

Helping those soccer moms and other unacquainted off-roaders get busy on the dirt, the DC100 features new sensor systems. The Terrain-i system utilizes Intelligent Terrain Mapping to determine the safest route, and the Wade Aide system uses a series of sensors to determine if that creek crossing is a fun splash in the woods or a dire rescue waiting to happen. The concept also features retractable tire spikes that can be engaged on slippery terrain—kind of reminds me of "The Animal" truck from when I was a kid.

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