Land Rover Going Green

The race against the clock is on for Land Rover to adapt itself to a world where CO2 emissions count. Currently Land Rover’s range of heavy, powerful sport utility vehicles puts it in a potentially dangerous spot for the future where the European Union’s impending legislations threaten to wipe out the great off-roader altogether. As such, Land Rover and Jaguar have announced a £700m ($1.4 bn US/CAD) investment into making their vehicles leaner and greener.

2011 Land Rover Evoque
Photo: thedetroitbureau.com

The first move was unveiled last week at the Frankfurt auto show, an LR2 with a stop and start system to prevent idling. The system will first debut on the TD4 turbodiesel model with manual transmission, due to its ease of integration. Land Rover says that this change, applicable around the globe to all of its TD4-powered LR2s would save 10 million tons of CO2 per year, based on the annual production of 28,000 units traveling 24,000 km (15,000 mi) apiece. However, you can bet that as a part of the investment, Land Rover will be adding it to its other vehicles, especially those with bigger V8s that drink more fuel.

Land Rover Green
Previously we reported that Land Rover would be using more aluminum in the construction of future Range Rovers in order to significantly lighten things up. A savings of several hundred kilograms would do wonders to reduce the car’s need for such a large engine and would drastically cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Land Rover is also interested in scaling down the size of its vehicles, and will present its attempt at the upcoming North American International Auto Show this January. The concept car, which has so far been dubbed by the media as, “the Landie,” is a three-door crossover coupe that is smaller than the current LR2. Based on the official teaser shot seen here, the car will maintain certain Range Rover cues such as the strong, angled rear pillars, but it will be more aerodynamic and have a lower profile than the brand’s current SUVs. Land Rover’s timing on this subject couldn’t be better, granted that other automakers such as Audi and BMW are rumoured to be pursuing small SUVs that have the footprint of regular compact cars.

In the meantime for those Land Rover buyers who want to do something about the environment immediately, the brand has now set up a carbon offsetting fund. Buyers can contribute a certain amount based on the vehicle that they drive to offset the CO2 emissions produced. It’s not just new Land Rover buyers that can do this; owners of older Land Rovers are welcomed to participate too. The money is put towards green power production such as wind power, planting trees and other efforts to green the planet.

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