Land Rover DC100 to make production as entry-level model?

Land Rover's DC100 could make production as a MINI Countryman rival.

Land Rover's DC100 concept is inching towards production as a rival for MINI's Countryman. The DC100 originally debuted as a design exercise for the next Defender, but reaction to the show car has been so positive that Land Rover is now considering putting the vehicle into production as a new entry-level model.

According to Autocar, Land Rover is seriously considering putting the DC100 into production to battle in the growing compact SUV segment, which includes entrants like the MINI Countryman and Nissan Juke. Land Rover describes the DC100 as an entry-level "ňúleisure' vehicle.

If given the green light, Land Rover would likely base the DC100 on a version of the Evoque's platform, giving the SUV a compact footprint. Engine choices would almost certainly include four-cylinder turbo units.

Another option on the table is to use the architecture from the next-generation Defender as a basis for the production DC100. However, the Defender is slated to retain its body-on-frame setup, which is less than ideal for a vehicle aimed at the chic, urban crowd.

Pricing for such a vehicle is far from set, but Land Rover executive John Edwards says that pricing for a vehicle like the DC100 would be well below most expectations. If pricing matched that of the MINI Countryman, the DC100 would list from about $25,000, undercutting the the $44,000 Evoque by a wide margin.

No world on a possible start of production, but a road-going DC100 is at least four years out.