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Land Rover convertible

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    The Sport is very, very different from the vanilla-white DC100 that's already sparked a furore around the world. Photo Gallery

Land Rover has gone topless with a Defender Convertible.

It's a concept car that breaks the mold for the off-road icon, as well as the name of the signature yellow paintwork - called Nervous Buzz - on the DC100 Sport.

The boldly brutal roadster is one of the few genuine surprises at the Frankfurt Motor Show and is rolled into the spotlight after the earlier unveiling of the DC100 sedan that's being used to test the wind for a recreation of the classic Land Rover Defender in 2015. The Sport is very, very different from the vanilla-white DC100 that's already sparked a furore around the world with Land Rover tragics who say it can never be a true successor to the original off-road workhorse. What will they think of the Sport?

Land Rover boss Phil Popham tells Carsguide exclusively that's exactly the point, as his company goes searching for lifestyle buyers who like the idea of a Defender in the bush but could never live with the bog-basic approach of the current model.

"What we wanted to do with the Sport is to test the leisure potential. We believe there could be a lot of potential in that. We want to understand that," Popham says. The first concept is obviously more focussed. It's what you'd expect to see. I think we can sell a lot more utility vehicles but the Sport can expand the appeal as well."

The two DC concepts at the Frankfurt show - Popham admits Land Rover will build more to satisfy motor show demand that's already beyond capacity - from their 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engines to their 22-inch alloy wheels. But it's the bodywork that reflects the big split.

"As we've done in the past with the LRX concept, (which has become the Range Rover Evoque) we intend to test the reaction to the features and design. Replacing an icon is not an easy project," Popham says. It's easy to understand the utility of the DC100, but people's lifestyles are changing. They are more focussed on their free time."

"I think we really need to understand how far we can take the car. Clearly we want to gauge people's reaction to the design."

Comments on this story

Displaying 2 of 2 comments

  • We Have a classic beast 1968 Landrover Safari Wagon that has only let us down once in 23 years due to a faulty fuel pump. We are considering restoring it rather then buying a updated Landrover Defender, still very unsure about changing to a modern 4WD that is plastic.

    Maurice & Sandra of Glengarry Vic Posted on 12 January 2013 3:56pm
  • What's this a "Nancy" LandRover. Plastic bumpers, I'll bet you can't hose it out or put a drag chain and snatch strap on it. I though that Freelanders and Discoveries were for those that want a fancy LR. The world needs a bog basic LandRover that you can get dirty and open the doors to let the rivers run through with NO electronic fancy stuff that constantly leaves you stranded. I've got both but I prefer the 40year old SWB series 3 and it never breaks down unlike the Rangie

    Brian of WA Posted on 16 September 2011 8:15pm

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