Land Rover has announced that a Range Rover production model based on its stunning LRX concept car is closer to reality, thanks partly to a 27 million Government grant.
The money available is a grant for business investment, dependent on the car being built at the Halewood plant on Merseyside, where the Land Rover Freelander and Jaguar X-type are built. The grant isn't connected to any other support packages already announced by the Government.
Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover said: 'We welcome the Government's support for this project, which would form a key part of our product plans and which we very much want to put into production.'
A final decision will be made later this year, but if the new car goes ahead it is expected to reach showrooms by 2011, with order books opening in 2010.
The new model would be the 'smallest, lightest and most efficient Range Rover that weve ever built', Popham said. 'It will have the premium-ness of a Range Rover, but all the hallmarks of a Land Rover in terms of practicality and usability.'
The striking, three-door LRX Concept was unveiled in December 2007. Land Rover says that the new model will be as close to the concept model as possible, but it has yet to confirm whether it will have three or five doors.
Prices haven't been finalised either, but there's expected to be some crossover with the Discovery.
Land Rover says the new model will have low CO2 emissions. It's aiming for less than 150g/km for all models, but a hybrid version that will top 60mpg and emit less than 120g/km of CO2 is also on the cards.