Land Rover Defender Blog

LA Auto Show Special Report

Matt O'Brien managed to get an hour with the Studio Director of Advanced Design at Land Rover, Richard Woolley at the LA Auto Show

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

November 17, 2011

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year
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We'd like to give a big shout out to FunRover fan Matt O'Brien for sending us this great report straight from the LA Auto Show. Matt managed to spend an hour with the  Studio Director of Advanced Design at Land Rover, Richard Woolley. Thanks Matt!

I put together a brief write up about my time yesterday at the LA Auto Show, and I thought you and FunRover readers might find it a fun read!

I was at the LA Auto show today for about the half the day, during press days before it opens to the public on Saturday. I spent an hour one-on-one with Richard Woolley, Studio Director of Advanced Design at Land Rover, discussing the DC 100 while looking over the actual car. (see attached images below)

I let him know that I wasn't talking to him as a professional, but as a Series Rover owner, and one who loves the Land Rover marquee. He was very excited to talk to me, and I think the amount of time we spent together during the opening day of the show, one-on-one, bears that out.

I talked with him about the front end, and how to turn the rounded shape into something that resembles the iconic defender/series front end. I talked with him about making some changes to the area under the wind screen to mimic the scuttle vents, and complimented him on the re-worked roof including lines resembling the ribs in the original series roof. I suggested alpine windows, and several other areas to tie the design into the iconic series/defender design ideal. Richard was incredibly receptive and appreciative throughout, indicating that they had a couple of the same ideas on other DC 100's back in the studio and were working to incorporate them into further design studies for upcoming shows. He is really keen on making sure that the re-engineered DC 100 directly incorporates the heritage, design status, and utility of the series/defender models.

On that note, after nearly and hour, I told Richard I wanted to get down to brass tacks. I asked him if this was intended for the north american market, and he told me that yes, they are going to focus on the US. He also said that the model will scale to a LWB version(regular, station wagon,double cab), diesel, and that he in particular is focused on delivering what the rover community in the US is asking for: Manual transmission, diesel, CDL, and an interior that you can clean with a hose. He said not only would this be good for the enthusiast community in the US/Cananda, but would also be a great update for developing countries as well. He owns a series rover himself, and understands. Granted, he isn't the president of the company, but he firmly believes in Land Rover, what they have stood for, and what they can CONTINUE to be. We even talked about birmabright and continuing to use the same sized brass drain plugs in the 3rd members!

All in all, I left the conversation incredibly heartened. I think Richard actually has a clue, and is endeavoring to carry on the design and utility legacy of the series/defender land rover marquee that we all care so deeply about. He asked me to stay in touch with him directly to continue our conversation, and I have to say I'm pretty excited about that!

What do you think to the DC100?

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2 Comments

  1. Pete C says:

    Glad to see they’ve sorted the wheels and tyres out! Shame they still have to be that large to fit over the disc brakes.

  2. Good on the ground report! I’m a mixture of optimistic and worried about the DC100 as the future of the Defender. For their own good I hope Land Rover get it right…it seems that at least some of them are on the right track. It’s going to be an interesting 5 year journey.

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