Land Rover at the London motor show 2008

Published: 24 July 2008

Land Rover put in its first full motor show appearance since the takeover by Tata – and made a rash of environmental announcements to appease the anti-SUV sentiment that lurks in certain strata of society in London. Read on for the full story from the Land Rover stand.

What’s new on Land Rover’s London motor show stand?

In the wake of all the buy-out excitement, there was little to excite new-car junkies: a new top-spec Autobiography edition of the Range Rover made its world premiere and the trusty junior 4×4, the LRX, was wheeled out again for its UK debut. Plus there was the Defender SVX diamond anniversary special. But the main news is a progress update on Land Rover’s e-Terrain tech know-how.

Land Rover revealed a few more details of its Erad diesel hybrid system, which it claims will trim emissions and consumption by around a quarter. Engineers at Gaydon are now testing prototypes, apparently, and we’ll see the tech in showrooms by the turn of the decade.

CAR’s Land Rover highlight

The LRX still sparkles as before – we can’t wait for Land Rover to put this into production. Let’s just hope it doesn’t water down the concept’s flavour too much. We can still remember the leap from Range Stormer to Range Sport, you see…

What were they thinking?

The Land Rover Ultimate Experience outside the show lets punters go up some pretty hair-raising inclines in an assortment of modern Land Rover product. It’s free too, although you’ll be encouraged to give a donation to the Red Cross. CAR had a go – but we wouldn’t recommend doing it after lunch. We couldn’t find any sick bags…

In a nutshell

Land Rover is rightly focusing on ‘greening’ its products, but we can’t help feeling we’re being drip-fed info as the process is taking rather a l-o-n-g time. But with products like the LRX in the pipeline, the future looks rosy at Land Rover.

Click here to go to CAR’s London motor show A-Z homepage

CAR reader reports

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What surprised me most?

No apologies on the face of it from Landie – an armada of its four battle-cruisers stands guard alongside the lovely LRX – still bigger than a Series 1 – and the inevitable Defender standing watch likely an elderly aunt.

Forget the PR spin: what’s the real story?

LR big-wigs are proud of their Electric Rear Axle Drive hybrid, which along with more modest ‘start-stop’ on next year’s Freelander gives them green credentials to go with the wellies and the ‘laning’. But inside the stand hits high-ratio with film of food, medicines and other good things reaching remote areas by Landie. Who’d have thought the world had more wilderness’ than Tesco car-parks? This is what LR should be driving but maybe they’re afraid to? Make ‘em more efficient, but for God’s sake keep making ‘em.

Reader verdict

LR’s keeping up with the game while it still has money in the popularity bank. Provided we get enough shots of people being uncomfortable doing good deeds in Defenders we’ll put up with Rangey’s overtaking us at 120 in the outside lane. Celebrity fixations prove excessive wealth we can handle, provided people don’t enjoy it.

Click here to go to CAR’s London motor show A-Z homepage