Word is that Land Rover is planning a foray into the front-wheel drive market with its next crossover model – the Range Rover LRX. Apparently, Land Rover initially ruled out the option but recently said that they “cannot ignore the growth of the two-wheel drive SUV segment”.

The LRX will be launched as an all-wheel drive car and the FWD version will be introduced shortly after. The change to front-wheel drive is said to improve Land Rover’s eco-credentials as CO2 emissions are 130 g/km for the FWD compared to 140 g/km for the AWD.

The engine is said to be a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine producing around 185 bhp, the same PSA Group unit from the Freelander. A surprise would be the fact that standard transmission is a six-speed manual; the last stick shift Range Rover was available in 2002.

The production LRX is expected to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show later this year.