Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on February 13, 2009
Does small mean economical? Sometimes. Does it equate to environmental friendliness? Not necessarily. In the case of the new Land Rover LRX, the jury’s still out. Land Rover recently announced the new concept LRX, claiming the car will appeal to the luxury and executive sector, as well as those wanting a compact.
Really? While I can’t recall the last time I saw a CEO driving from a board meeting to the Ritz in a sturdy little compact, I’m willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt.
According to Phil Popham, Land Rover’s managing director (via their website), “The LRX concept delivers the powerful message that we are as serious about sustainability as we are confident about the continuing relevance and desirability of our vehicles. The LRX is in every respect a Land Rover, but it’s a very different Land Rover.”
It’s different in that Land Rover claims its LRX’s low weight — due, in part, to polycarbonate windows — and smaller frontal area improve fuel efficiency and give low aerodynamic drag. It also has systems in place that are designed to reduce wasted fuel and power. Add to that easily recycled aluminum on many fittings, carpets made from sustainable sources, and fake suede used on door inserts made entirely from recycled plastic bottles and you have, at least in concept, a solid step in the right direction.
Still, the car is packed with rather heavy additions, such as a motorized boot door, a bottle chiller and a cool box (none of which come standard on my glorious piece of automotive engineering, the Saturn SC1 coupe), all of which have an impact on fuel efficiency. And, though Land Rover claims the vehicle to be compact, it is not a small car. As the vehicle goes from concept to reality, only time will tell if this compact Land Rover is really eco-friendly, or merely eco-friendly marketing.