The Range Rover LRX and that world map disguise

Published: 18 May 2010

Noticed something interesting about the psychedelic disguise on the new compact Range Rover LRX scooped by CAR today: look up close and you'll see it's a map of the world.

There was me thinking they'd just covered the junior Rangie in a random pattern of colourful swirls more normally found on a toddler's sketchpad. Nope, it seems Land Rover's having an internal joke by playing on the LRX's global destiny.

The new global car disguise

'It is a map of the world, designed by our styling team led by Gerry McGovern,' our mole lets on. 'We looked at black-and-white chequerboard disguise, but we knew that the first cars would be snapped by photographers – there's been so much interest in the car.

'So we decided to use a graphic of the map of the world. The compact Range Rover will be sold in all our markets around the globe eventually – that's around 160 countries.'

Car camouflage: just another promotional tool

So there you have it. Modern prototype car disguise isn't just used to camouflage cars. Far from it, the LRX's bright regalia seems designed to draw attention to this striking coupé/SUV. Guess that's made possible by the incremental nature of the LRX – it doesn't replace any existing model and there's less risk of cannibalising sales.

It's not the first strange disguise we've seen. Jaguar last year aped BMW's swirly-whirly pattern on the XJ, while McLaren disguised SLR and MP4-12C prototypes as Ultimas to mask early test hacks.

>> What's your favourite car prototype disguise? Click 'Add your comment' and share your thoughts

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet