With Australia a key market for the British marque Mr Popham was keen to share his thoughts on the brand's future during a brief stop in Melbourne, telling CarAdvice the upcoming LRX model will go in to production under the Range Rover badge.
The move will see LRX feature all the premium detail, performance and features typically associated with the brand meaning that, although it is the smallest car ever produced under the Range Rover nameplate, it will not be the cheapest.
Mr Popham explained that research carried out during LRX's global motor show circuit indicated potential customers are willing to pay a premium price for such a vehicle, provided the production model closely replicated those ideals seen in the concept - a move Mr Popham assured us Range Rover engineers have worked hard to mirror.
"We will invest in some things to enhance feature and refinement levels to make sure it really lives up the the Range Rover name," hinted Mr Popham.
When asked specifically how closely the LRX would resemble the concept model, Mr Popham replied:
“I think you will be more than pleasantly surprised.”
Land Rover's environmental focus was also addressed by Mr Popham promising LRX will be the first of many steps the brand takes toward a greener future.
"There no doubt that sustainability for all our customers and all of our prospects is getting more and more important," Mr Popham said.
As the most fuel efficient and lightest vehicle yet for the Range Rover brand the LRX clearly reflects this intention.
Premium construction techniques and use of modern materials (including aluminium and composite fibre technology) suggest where other Range Rover models may head with weight saving being high on the brand's agenda, though Mr Popham was quick to point out there is no 'silver bullet' in addressing environmental concerns and as such did not rule out hybrid or electric models as a part of the brand's future.
The LRX will be based on the current Freelander2 platform and will be available as a three- and possibly five-door SUV.
With production beginning next year, we can expect to see the premium SUV in showrooms by 2011.