ROVER 'TCV' STARS ON MG ROVER'S GENEVA STAND
Giving the first public indication of Rover's future product design thinking, the Rover TCV (Tourer Concept Vehicle) forms the centrepiece of the company's stand at the 2002 Geneva Show.
TCV is shown as an external full size model, combined with a dynamic virtual-reality demonstration of the ingenious interior package capabilities. It has been created to show the company's styling and design vision for its new vehicles. Although this concept is innovative and free-thinking, it has been designed for genuine production feasibility.
Click image for larger view
Recent developments in world car markets reflect a growth in new categories of car, such as MPVs, van-based estate cars and various 'cross-over' hybrid vehicles. Now, the Rover TCV demonstrates a new way of combining luxury, style and driving enjoyment with exceptional practicality and adaptability.
As a starting point, the TCV fulfils the normal Tourer role - a stylish modern 'lifestyle' estate car with a roomy five-passenger cabin. Key features include:
A highly adaptable seating plan. The rear three seat squabs all fold individually to lie flush with the normal rear load floor, and the front passenger seat squab also folds to this plane.
An ingenious dual configuration for the rear loadspace area. In addition to a special hatch door hinged well forward to give excellent access to the loadspace, the lower bumper section also hinges open, revealing a large secure box-shaped underfloor stowage compartment for a host of associated items. Current and future developments in puncture management (Instant Mobility Systems and run-flat tyres) will render spare wheels finally redundant.
This allows several combinations of passengers and loads, and any folded seats can also be used in 'table-top' mode for business or leisure purposes. Very long items of up to 3.1 metres can be accommodated. The centre rear seat squab can be replaced with various 'slot-in' modules, including a child seat, an entertainment centre, a fridge/food warmer and a business desktop unit.
For even greater versatility, the main load floor is designed so that it can be removed from the normal position and stowed on the floor of the lower compartment, thus creating an exceptionally deep cargo space with full-depth access from the rear. One package objective was to be able to stow a normal front-loading washing machine in the upright position. Rover's rationale for this was not to create a dedicated washing machine 'delivery van', but to provide a universally recognisable demonstration of the remarkable capability of the package.
To help with the insertion and removal of such bulky and heavy loads the lower drop-down bumper has been engineered to form a flush loading platform when open. Having such a 'basement-level' load floor reduces loading effort and gives the lowest possible centre of gravity for the installed load, to minimise its effect on vehicle handling.
TCV has also been designed with extra ground clearance, appropriate wheels and tyres, robust finishes for the lower body and wheel arches, and can accommodate advanced traction control technology. Adding further to the outdoor lifestyle benefits of TCV, are the special longitudinal 'Alpine Light' windows set into the roof panel.