Land Rovers have always been an acquired taste - you either love them or hate them, odd then it seems that their latest concept dubbed the Land Rover LRX, appears to be one of the most stunning sports SUVs ever conceived.
The LRX is described as a cross-coupe - smaller than a Freelander 2, it combines the benefits of a 4x4 with the luxury and presence of a much larger vehicle.
Pushing the wheels out to the four corners helps give the car its purposeful stance, and its front-end design makes a powerful and instantly recognisable statement of Land Rover's identity.
There are new interpretations of Land Rover's traditional clamshell bonnet, distinctive headlamps, tapering blade indicator clusters front and rear, and subtle side vents. The LRX's wheel arches are wide but softly integrated, housing 20-inch alloy wheels.
"LRX has a highly desirable identity and the design alludes strongly to its capability, while clearly underlining our forward-looking philosophy - it's a Land Rover that would be comfortable on Bond Street or Fifth Avenue, but wouldn't flinch at getting its wheels dirty."
Land Rover holds no secret that the LRX concept is on-road biased, with its more car-like appearance and dynamics underlined by excellent agility, handling and performance.
However it can also hold its own off-road with full-time four-wheel drive and Hill Descent Control, as well as a special version of Land Rover's acclaimed Terrain Response system, to optimise traction on difficult surfaces ranging from icy roads to wet grass, gravel and snow. But to reflect LRX's more on-road bias, Terrain Response also gains a new "Eco" mode for lower emission urban driving.
The interior features a combination of soft leathers in rich tan and dark chocolate, with polished aluminium details. The electronic display uses "floating" LCD graphics to create a three-dimensional look that can be personalised for different drivers, as well as interacting with the LRX's touch-screen display.
The instrument graphics present data in layers depending on their level of importance, to give maximum relevant information with minimum distraction. The illumination colour also changes between green, red and blue for economy, sports and standard drive modes respectively.
"No one technology delivers all the answers to whole life sustainability, but the LRX concept brings together some of the future ideas that interest us, into a car that we believe represents an exciting way forward for Land Rover."
Sustainability has also been a major factor in the LRX's conception, with vegetable-tanned leather (chromium-free, so better for recycling), extensive use of aluminium (both lightweight and readily recyclable), carpeting made of felt from sustainable sources, and the luxurious vanilla-coloured "fine suede" on the door inserts and headliner is a 100 per cent recycled material made from used plastic bottles.
So far there has been no word on what is actually powering this stunning concept, but with sustainable development playing a major role in its design you can almost be guaranteed some variation of petrol-electric hybrid or diesel would be on the cards.