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Geneva Show Report: Land Rover Makes A Splash

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Geneva, Switzerland – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Land Rover has showcased its strongest ever product portfolio on the first day of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. In addition to the brand’s 2012 lineup, three special vehicles highlighted the breadth and strength of the Land Rover brand:

• The One-MillionthLand Rover Discovery/LR4
• The DC100 Defender Concept vehicle, equipped for snow and ice
• For the first time in public, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept

The Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept is a bold design study that builds on the current model’s success. The soft-top concept vehicle features a fully retractable premium roof with a Roll-Over Protection System [ROPS]. The convertible cleverly combines capability and versatility with a drop down tailgate and a comfortable four-seat set up.

While there are no current plans to put the Range Rover Evoque Convertible into production, Land Rover will be gauging reaction to the concept and listening carefully to feedback.

On unveiling the exciting new concept at the JLR press conference, Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern said: “We believe that the Range Rover Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible. From a pure design perspective, we have used the dramatic shape of the Range Rover Evoque to create a distinctive and highly desirable proposition.”

Also positioned proudly on the stand was the landmark One-Millionth Land Rover Discovery. The Land Rover Discovery has been sold in North America as the Discovery I, Discovery 2, LR3, and LR4. This milestone vehicle is making a pit stop in Geneva along its’ 8,000-mile, 50-day ‘Journey of Discovery’. This expedition from Birmingham to Beijing will take in some of the world’s toughest terrain with the aim of raising £1million ($1.6 million US) for the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Land Rover’s Global Humanitarian Partner. The money raised will support a long-term water sanitation project in Uganda, Africa.

Land Rover Brand Director John Edwards introduced the 1,000,000th vehicle to the Show saying: “The Land Rover Discovery is surely the most capable and versatile SUV in the world. It is our most awarded car ever with over 200 global accolades to date and sales last year up by 15%.” He added: “The ‘Journey of Discovery’ promises to be quite an adventure and I can think of no better way to celebrate a vehicle which has embodied the Land Rover spirit of adventure for almost a quarter of a century.”

To celebrate the success of Discovery and demonstrate Land Rover’s continuous achievements in all-terrain capability, vehicles from the brand’s heritage fleet were available for special drives on the shores of Lake Geneva. Heritage models from the past 23 years of production, including the first Discovery off the production line in 1989 and a Series I Land Rover from 1957 were on hand. A fully amphibious Land Rover Discovery I, originally converted for use during the British Cowes Week Sailing Regatta in 1990, created a splash as it was driven into Lake Geneva to demonstrate the brand’s go-anywhere spirit.

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Completing the line up on the Land Rover stand is a striking red Land Rover DC100 concept with new snow and ice accessories fitted for its Geneva debut. The DC100 is a concept vehicle that studies the possibilities for the next generation Land Rover Defender. Technologies on the vehicle designed to help tackle extreme winter conditions include: an automatic i-Terrain device to assess surface conditions and respond accordingly, Wade Aid sonar technology to assess water depth and underwater terrain and a driver-activated spiked tire system; deployed at the touch of a button to help tackle slippery ice and snow.

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