While the Hummer H2 – especially if clad with 22-inch chrome wheels and ultra-dark window tint – may be the epitome of the urban high-roller these days, it was Land Rover that invented the concept of a sport utility vehicle in the first place. They’re meant to be rugged, utilitarian, and offer exceptional ground clearance.
Well, if we take a sneak peek behind the “high-security door of LR’s advanced design department”, we’ll see quite a departure from conventional thinking when it comes to SUVs. To be offered 10-15 years from now, these lightweight, aluminum-framed hybrid-powered Land Rovers are designed to stifle SUV haters and their environmental concerns, while at the same time, maintaining the “utility” part of its name. The look is definitely softer: they’ve even called it a “high-tech jellybean.”
Gerry McGovern, formerly of Lincoln, is heading up the design department in the UK for the Ford-owned Land Rover brand, and he’s calling these current concepts not SUVs, but rather “Premium Utility” vehicles.