As earlier reported by just-auto, Land Rover has confirmed that it is developing its first-ever two-wheel-drive model – a small Range Rover based on the LRX concept that is still to be named.

The company said that the compact model will go on sale next year and the 2WD version will emit less than 130 g/km of CO2 – making it the lightest, most fuel efficient Range Rover ever.

The British 4×4 manufacturer needs to reduce the average of its emissions across its range of vehicles and Jaguar Land Rover has committed to investing GBP800m (USD1.75bn) in developing environmental technologies.

Land Rover managing director Phil Popham, said: “The all-new compact Range Rover will be available in 2WD. This is good news for the company and for our customers. A 2WD option is just one way in which we are developing our vehicles efficiency whilst adding to the Land Rover range and expanding our customer base. We will continue to make the ‘world’s finest all-terrain vehicles’ for those customers who require 4WD but will also now offer an alternative to those that don’t.”

As part of the introduction of 2WD, Land Rover will be focussing on three main areas of technology to reduce the weight of Land Rover vehicles, reduce parasitic losses and increase powertrain efficiency. The use of hybrid technology is also part of the significant developments for the larger vehicles in the range.

The first diesel hybrid will be available in 2012 and on the road in 2013.

By the end of 2010 Land Rover will be testing the first diesel hybrid prototype called the ‘range_e’ which is being developed using a Range Rover Sport platform. Tests of this vehicle will use the existing 3.0 litre TDV6 diesel engine featuring a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. The goal is to achieve a range of 20 miles using electric power only emitting less than 100 g/km of CO2 emissions and to achieve a top speed of around 120 mph.