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Review (2/2)

DC100 Sport: An Active Expression of Freedom and Adventure

Source: Land Rover | Published: Tue Sep 13, 2011

(continued from the previous page)

Multifunctional Removable Touch screen

Like early Land Rover models, the DC100 concepts have a centrally positioned instrument cluster mounted above the gearlever. Combining the informatics functions of an instrument panel with an intuitive touch screen interface, the unit is backed by powerful telematics technology that co-ordinates the groundbreaking technologies to be found in these concepts.

All of the concepts' functions can be controlled via this interface, using a combination of swipe and press gestures on the touch screen. The steering wheel includes four shortcut keys that reconfigure the touch screen to control functions such as navigation, audio and climate.

The control unit is removable from the dashboard to extend its functionality. Finished in shock and water-resistant silicon and equipped with its own power source, camera, and satellite connectivity, this allows it to be used as a portable navigation tool with an internal hard drive that can record waypoints, HD video footage and stills images.

Powerful and Efficient Powertrains

Both concepts are powered by 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. The go-anywhere DC100 is diesel-powered for maximum mud-bogging torque while the more performance-oriented DC100 Sport is gasoline-powered for a sportier drive. Both engines are capable of being configured as parallel or plug-in hybrids.


Land Rover is actively researching the next generation of powertrains appropriate to the extreme uses and environmental challenges to which its vehicles are put. In association with research centers, suppliers, and universities, the company is looking at a wide range of options to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Intelligent Engine Start/Stop

The two concepts are fitted with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission with Intelligent Start/Stop. Designed with future hybridization in mind, the gearbox utilizes a Twin Solenoid Starter system that offers considerable benefits over more conventional Start/Stop technologies such as the ability to restart the engine during its shutdown phase. The addition of a transfer case offers a wide spread of ratios, while steering wheel-mounted gear selection paddles afford manual gear control both on and off-road.

Premium Performance

Taking its cue from technical sportswear, DC100 uses the latest generation of performance materials to create an interior of premium quality that is adaptable and hardwearing. The beam running the width of the cabin, door panels and seat bolsters are trimmed in Obsidian Grey and Carbon Black Ultrafabrics, a technical cloth found on designer furniture and super yachts. Ultrafabrics is not only antimicrobial, water-repellent, breathable and resistant to solar aging, it is also PVC-free, low in volatile organic compounds and lightweight.

Complementing this is SuperFabric, an almost indestructible textile with a premium feel. Normally found in protective clothing for extreme environments - including spacesuits - DC100 uses it on the seat cushions and to line the footwells and rear load space.

Aluminum is also used extensively in the vehicles. Trim material - such as the drains in the fully washable rear load bed - are made of recycled metal.

Traditional Toughness

DC100 Sport achieves the same singularity of purpose with a mixture of modern and traditional materials. The seats are trimmed in the original protective material; leather, with a lightweight, breathable mesh insert in a bold "Tribal Tech" pattern. The leather is sourced from Bridge of Weir, a Scottish company with impeccable environmental credentials. The hide is covered with a 3D-textured mesh that alternately reveals and hides the Tribal Tech pattern.

The Tribal Tech pattern is repeated on the floor of DC100 Sport where floor mats are made of Ombrae, a sculptural medium used in art installations and modern architecture. This dynamic 3D material changes its appearance through the use of light and shadow, depending on the viewing angle. The same design is also echoed in the hand-patterned Pirelli tires.

Technology and Capability

These two concepts showcase the next generation of technologies that will extend Land Rover's reputation for legendary all-terrain prowess and 365 day-a-year usability.

As with any Land Rover, both DC100 designs have towing and load-carrying capabilities that exceed expectations but use two different and well-proven Land Rover suspension systems specifically tailored to their distinct performance parameters.

DC100 uses an air suspension system that allows ride height to be altered by up to 12.6 inches for extreme approach and departure angles, axle articulation and ground clearance. The performance suspension in the DC100 Sport uses the third-generation MagneRide adjustable suspension for sporting on-road handling with all-terrain capability.

Terrain Response

New off-road technologies will extend the capabilities of the Land Rover Terrain Response system. These new technologies allow the system to automatically optimize the vehicle for any environment without driver selection. This system analyzes data from sensors that assess suspension travel, steering angle, wheel slip and braking and acceleration inputs. The vehicle will react continuously and unobtrusively by altering spring, damper, gearing and power delivery parameters.

The Terrain Response on the DC100 concepts also features High-Definition cameras mounted on the front to analyze the ground ahead. This is then compared to images stored within a predictive neural network and allows the system to determine visually, for example, the difference between sand, grass, mud, gravel, snow and asphalt. The system will use this data to alter the off-road performance parameters.

Intelligent Terrain Mapping

Acting as an early-warning system is the state-of-the-art Terrain-i mapper that creates a virtual 3D visualization of the ground ahead, displayed on the central touch screen. Similar to systems used by fighter pilots, Terrain-i uses a headlamp-mounted scanner that runs complex algorithms to assess the route ahead and warn the driver of obstacles potentially too large to be safely negotiated.

Terrain-i will suggest alternatives, displaying a safer route on the screen. Cameras mounted on each corner also give the driver a 360-degree field of vision.

Terrain-i also plays a vital support role in crowded urban environments where the scanner system can identify pedestrians and obstacles. This can initially warn the driver and then attempt to stop the vehicle if action is not taken.

Wade Aid

Land Rover has developed a sonar-based system for assessing water depth that allows the driver to make informed decisions as to whether to proceed into flooded areas.

The system utilizes sensors mounted in the bumpers and side mirrors. These are able to measure depth and by working in conjunction with inclinometers recognize whether the level is increasing or decreasing. This information is displayed on the central touch screen.

The system will also automatically optimize the concept for water crossing by raising the ride height, closing body vents, selecting a lower gear to maintain engine revs and advising on the optimum speed for the depth of water, allowing a maximum wading depth of 29.5 inches.

Spiked Tires

Further allowing the concepts to adjust to changing conditions is a driver-deployable spiked tire system. This is operated by an electro-mechanical system mounted within the tire; activation of the technology permits air to inflate a secondary air chamber, filling pods moulded into the tread of the tire and which contain the spikes. The spikes rise just above the tread surface and fix into place for driving on packed snow and ice. When conditions have eased, the spikes can be retracted, obviating the need to carry two sets of tires or snow chains.


Underpinning these systems is a telematics program that seamlessly integrates many vehicle functions and presents information to the driver in the clearest, most straightforward manner. The telematics systems allow communication between the vehicle and a smartphone or laptop, allowing the owner to check everything from the tire pressure to the cabin temperature and operate the climate control remotely.

In addition, the telematics system can store data from every one of the vehicle's journeys and download them for comparison. For example, information from the Wade Aid system could chart changes in water depth, or data from the traction control could be used to assess the rate of terrain erosion.

The system also has full on-the-move connectivity via 3G and satellite and can deliver not just traffic alerts but also weather warnings for remoter areas.

Adventure Key

Land Rover prides itself on offering solutions to everyday as well as extraordinary situations. Having a key to carry can hamper athletic activities. Using RFID technology, the key can be embedded into impact or water resistant objects such as watches and wristbands. These allow the main key fob to be left in a slot in the glove box, which deactivates it and transfers its security functions to the rugged item containing the RFID chip. Once the vehicle is secured, only that specific RFID smart tag will allow access.

Future developments of the system will allow each family member their own smart tag, which would save their personal audio, climate, communication, and seating settings. This would also allow parents to restrict vehicle power and speed when their children use it. Third-generation smart tags could also include biometric data that could use facial recognition systems to increase security.

Park Assist

A Park Assist system, can parallel park the vehicles with minimal inputs from the driver. Sensors scan the side of the road to select a suitably sized space. If the driver confirms the selection, the DC100 Sport can then reverse into the space, performing all the steering functions automatically while the driver retains control over the brakes and accelerator.

Torque Vectoring

A new electronic torque vectoring system maximizes the stability, traction and handling on any surface. As opposed to purely mechanical differentials, electronic torque vectoring can channel specific amounts of power to each individual wheel. For on-road driving, this allows a sportier and safer drive, with the torque vectoring acting to enhance vehicle performance and stability. During off-road driving, torque vectoring confers even greater benefits, being able to infinitely and instantaneously send torque to whichever combination of the four wheels has the most grip.

Driveline Disconnect

Driveline Disconnect can reduce frictional losses by disconnecting the rear axle unless conditions dictate that four-wheel drive is required. Unlike conventional switchable four-wheel drive, which reroutes engine power electronically, the Land Rover system physically decouples the rear propshaft from the center differential for greater efficiency benefits. The system can swiftly recouple and send drive to the rear wheels when it detects a loss of traction.

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