Land Rover unveiled two concepts in the spirit of the original Defender at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The British SUV builder says the DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts concepts "investigate the future design possibilities of the iconic Defender."

The two concepts slab sides are devoid of extraneous detailing for a from-follows-function design that "captures the inherent simplicity and confidence" of the original Defender. The DC100 is immediately recognizable as a Land Rover and features an upright windshield and an interchangeable rear cover to maximize either cargo capacity or passenger seating. A winch is seamlessly integrated into the front grill and can lift the vehicle's weight. It also sports new technologies such as "towing eyes" built into each corner, solar panels integrated into the roof to power onboard systems to reduce load on the engine's electrical system.

The DC100 Sport is reminiscent of the original canvas-top Defender with a fold-down windshield. Instead of the aforementioned fold-down windshield it offers a wrap-around aero screen and cut down side windows for an open-air feel. Behind the front bench is a twin-hump fastback tonneau cover over the rear load bed. The rear load bed has mounting points to secure equipment and gear.

Speaking of bench seats - both concepts offer three-across seating in the front provided by a center console-mounted gear lever. A secure storage compartment is located under middle seats and outboard passenger seats can be folded out of the way to increase storage.

The DC100 features Ultrafabrics, an antimicrobial, water-repellant, solar aging resistant, breathable material used in designer furniture and super yachts. The material is used on the beam running the width of the cabin, door panels, and seat bolsters. SuperFabrics, found in protective clothing, including space suits, is used on the seat cushions and lines the footwells and rear load space.

Mounted above the gear lever is a removable touch-screen instrument panel that allows the driver to control all of the vehicle's functions. It features its own power source, camera, satellite connectivity, and navigation system wrapped in a shock and water-resistant silicone case.

The vehicles' electronics allows communication between the vehicle and a smartphone (or laptop) between vehicles, and between the vehicle and the base allowing the driver to monitor and control the vehicle's many electronic systems.

The concepts are powered by 2.0-liter engines - the DC100 is diesel powered to provide maximum torque for off road capability and the DC100 Sport is gasoline-powered for a sportier on-road feel. Both engines feature start/stop systems and eight-speed ZF automatic transmissions with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual control. Land Rover says that both engines can be used in parallel or plug-in hybrid systems.

Both SUVs feature an electronic torque vectoring system that can send the right combination of power to the wheels regardless of terrain. The concepts have a driveline disconnect function that decouples the rear driveshaft from the center differential when four-wheel drive isn't needed to help with efficiency. The system can automatically reconnect the driveshaft when more traction is needed.

The DC100 uses air suspension that adjusts up to 12.6 inches for off-road crawling. The DC100 Sport uses MagneRIde adjustable suspension biased toward on-road handling that is also off-road capable.

Land Rover is also showcasing new technologies such as a new terrain Response system dubbed Terrain-i that automatically adjusts without driver input. The Terrain-i utilizes Intelligent Terrain Mapping, from a headlight mounted scanner, to evaluate the route to choose the safest route. Land Rover says the technology is also beneficial in urban environments to help the driver avoid pedestrians and other automobiles. It also uses cameras mounted on the vehicles' corners to give a 360 degree view of the environment.

Wade Aide is another new technology showcased on the concepts. It uses sensors mounted in the bumpers and mirrors to measure water depth so the driver can decide if the flooded area is safe to traverse. The system can raise the ride-height, close body vents, select proper transmission gear to keep engine in optimum rev range and advise the best speed based on water depth.

Land Rover also fitted the concepts with 22-inch wheels that feature retractable spikes in the tires' tread. Additional bladders in the tires can be inflated to push the spikes out of the tire tread when needed. When the bladders are deflated the spikes retract back into the tread.

Many of the features on the DC100 and DC100 Sport are still being developed and are being showcased for consumer reactions. Land Rover wants to know what technologies its customers would like to see on a successor to the Defender, due about four years from now, possibly sometime in 2015.

Source: Land Rover