DC100 and DC100 Sport

The latest press release from Land Rover regarding the new DC100 concept really goes over the top in attempting to convince the reader that the DC100 is indeed the aesthetic and spiritual successor to the venerable Land Rover Defender. It also goes to great lengths to ensure us that the concept will make an unparalleled off-road vehicle and reveals a lot about the technological workings of the DC100. Land Rover enthusiasts hoping that the DC100/Defender would be toned down in the technology department are going to be rather disappointed. That said, there are some interesting terrain handling technologies being showcased on the concepts.

Land Rover DC100 Interior
and Convenience Technologies

Solar Panels – The DC100 roof is equipped with solar panels that power on-board systems to reduce load on the engine and which also help lower emissions. This is really a technology that has been pushed to the back far too often over the years. Finally, a number of automakers are now experimenting with solar power to assist with energy conservation, and it is nice to see Land Rover doing its part.

Social Seating – We called them bench or split bench seats when we were kids, but we’ll go with “social seating” for now. The front seats allow for three passengers and offer up a great deal of versatility. The passenger seat can be folded to increase cargo capacity and the middle seat conceals a secure storage area. The gearshift lever has moved to the dash panel, high up on the center console, which allows space for the center seating position.

A centrally located removable touchscreen combines the instrumentation, navigation, audio, and climate controls into a single display.

Removable Touchscreen – A centrally located removable touchscreen combines the instrumentation, navigation, audio, and climate controls into a single display. The removable screen features its own power source, camera, and satellite connectivity, allowing it to be used as a portable navigation tool with an internal hard drive.

Telematics – The DC100 is chocked full of telematics technology. The system allows the owner to check and store data from a wide variety of on-board vehicle systems. The system also has on-the-move 3G and satellite connectivity. This data display and collection system is centered around the removable touchscreen all-in-one system.

Leisure Key – Here is another technology that has been a long time coming. The DC100 uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that allows the owner to operate the vehicle without a key on their person. Instead, they can install an RFID chip into a watch or an article of clothing and have full access to the vehicle just as if they were holding the key. The actual key is then stored in in the vehicle, where it is deactivated and rendered unusable until reactivated by the RFID tag.

Park Assist – You can see a demonstration of the Park Assist feature here on a Range Rover Evoque. Park assist helps to quickly and safely parallel park the vehicle using a semi-autonomous system that detects obstacles and controls the steering.

Land Rover DC100 Exterior
and Performance Technologies

Air Suspension – The DC100 uses an air suspension system that allows ride height to be altered by up to 12.6-inches. Like the Range Rover Evoque, the DC100 Sport features a MagneRide adjustable suspension to amplify on-road handling at little expense to off-road capability. We probably will not know for some time whether or not the final 2015 Defender will offer a coil sprung option, but it seems very likely given the needs of commercial and military buyers.

The system attempts to detect the terrain ahead and actively alter the off-road performance characteristics of the DC100 with no input from the driver.

Auto Terrain Response – The well-respected Terrain Response system has been augmented with HD cameras mounted on the front of the vehicle. The system attempts to detect the terrain ahead and actively alter the off-road performance characteristics of the DC100 with no input from the driver. This automatically allows the vehicle to adapt to changing terrain without driver pre-selection. The system uses suspension travel, steering angle, wheel slip, braking, and acceleration inputs to continuously alter spring, damper, gearing, and power delivery.

Intelligent Terrain Mapping and Terrain-i – The Terrain-i mapper creates a 3D visualization of the terrain ahead and displays it on the touchscreen. A headlamp-mounted scanner assess the terrain and warns the driver of potential obstacles. This system can then suggest a safe route on the removable screen mentioned above. With cameras mounted on each corner of the vehicle, the driver has a 360-degre field of vision around the vehicle. The 3D scanner can also identify pedestrians and other obstacles in an urban environment.

Wade Aid – A sonar-based system in the DC100 helps assess water depth. The system also automatically adjusts ride height, closes body vents, selects lower gear, and advises on optimum speeds for the depth of water. Maximum wading depth with this system is 29.5-inches.

On-Demand Tire Spikes – We don’t even want to speculate as to what it would cost to buy new tires with this system installed, but the concept sounds interesting. The DC100 features a deployable spiked tire system that causes air to inflate secondary air chambers filling pods molded into the tread of the tire which in turn contain spikes. The spikes rise just above the tread surface when needed and retract when no longer required. The idea is that these tires would remove the need to maintain a separate set of snow tires or carry tire chains.

Additional Articles on the DC100 and DC100 Sport:

DC100 and DC100 Sport Rear View

[via Land Rover]

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