The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), one of the biggest and most anticipated auto shows in the world, is easily one of the best places to introduce a concept car. Held in Detroit, Mich., more than 6,000 journalists cover the event, and moments after hosts lift the sheet from their new design, blogs dedicated to the auto industry post hundreds of photos, press releases and general reactions all over the Internet.
The biggest trend at recent auto shows like NAIAS is the green factor -- many companies are throwing everything they have into producing cars with better fuel efficiency and less of a negative impact on the environment. Toyota's iQ Car concept, for example, attempts to solve traffic congestion with its compact size without sacrificing space on the inside. On the other hand, this doesn't stop several companies from making faster, bigger and more expensive models like the Aston Martin Rapide or the Lamborghini Reventon.
So there seems to be a conflict between two opposing platforms -- the urge to go green versus the urge to push powerful sports cars or big, luxurious SUVs. But what if you could have the best of both of those worlds? The makers of the Land Rover, the well-known British line of all-terrain and multi-purpose vehicles, are attempting just that with their new concept, the Land Rover LRX. Unveiled at the 2008 NAIAS and dubbed a "cross-coupe" by its creators, the LRX is a smaller, lighter version of previous Land Rover models, with a hybriddiesel engine capable of running on biodiesel and a more streamlined design
Land Rover's Web site states its intentions clearly -- "For sixty years, our pioneering vehicles have taken explorers, environmentalists and scientists all over the world. Now we're using our innovation to ensure we reduce our impact on the planet." At the same time, the LRX's press release doesn't forget to mention the car's SUV-like performance and traditional luxury qualities that enthusiasts expect from a Land Rover.
To learn more about the Land Rover LRX's attempt to combine sustainability with luxury features, read the next pages.