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First look: Land Rover storms Detroit

Super Brit: Range Stormer concept features a supercharged V8 and 22-inch alloys.

Range Stormer concept heralds a new model and design direction for Land Rover

7 Jan 2004

WE SAW the teaser picture at September’s Frankfurt motor show, now Land Rover has revealed the concept version of its all-new Range Stormer performance SUV at the Detroit auto show.

Land Rover’s first ever concept car, the three-door Range Stormer will fit into the iconic British marque’s range as a new model sized between the entry level Freelander and the mid-sized Discovery, with a price that will position it somewhere between Disco and Range Rover.

Codenamed L320 and based on the new T5 steel ladder platform that will underpin the second-generation Discovery - due to surface later this year - the production Range Stormer should go on sale here by late 2005 as a rival for BMW’s X5 and the Porsche Cayenne.

Confusingly, however, Land Rover says the Range Stormer concept’s three-door bodyshell is not indicative of the production car’s final look.

Described as a “high performance, sports tourer SUV concept car” that also showcases a future design direction for Land Rover, the Range Stormer concept features four individual seats, a supercharged V8 engine and a new technology dubbed Terrain Response.

Land Rover claims Terrain Response delivers the best possible compromise between on and off-road performance by manipulating suspension, powertrain, throttle response and traction control settings.

Production engine options are likely to comprise a V8 and Land Rover-modified Jaguar V6.

“The supercharged V8 Range Stormer gives a taste of our forthcoming new entrant in the booming high performance SUV segment,” said Land Rover managing director Matthew Taylor.

“The production vehicle that follows will share many of its styling and technical innovations. It is very much conceived to be an on-road, performance machine, as well as class-leading off-road like all Land Rovers.

“You'll be seeing an increasing amount of innovative technology in future Land Rovers. But technology that makes the driver's task simpler not more complicated, such as Terrain Response,” he said.

Geoff Upex, Land Rover design director, said: “The challenge was to translate fundamental Land Rover design values into a concept for a high performance machine that looks powerful, muscular and edgy. We certainly want to challenge established views of our vehicles, but the Range Stormer is still clearly an authentic Land Rover.”

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