More stories related to Chicago Auto Show CHICAGO – Land Rover will capitalize on the early success of its LR3 SUV by adding a V-6 mill to its option list later this year.

Land Rover officials in the past told Ward’s it would consider bringing a V-6-powered version to the U.S. following the launch of the V-8 here, but no timetable was given.

The LR3 (called Discovery 3 in other markets) sports a 300-hp 4.4L V-8 and a $45,000 base price in the U.S. It has won 15 major awards and lifted Land Rover sales out of a recent tailspin.

An upgraded version of Ford Motor Co.’s global 4L V-6 will add further momentum to the LR3’s success story, a Land Rover spokesman says here at the Chicago Auto Show. (See related story: Lot Riding on Land Rover LR3’s Sturdy Frame)

LR3 in line for V-6.

A Chicago-area dealer tells Ward’s he’s expecting the vehicles later this summer, in what promises to be a less-expensive version of the luxury off-roader intended to increase sales of a proven product and complement the launch of the LR3-based Range Rover Sport and a supercharged Range Rover in June. (See related story: Land Rover Poised for Record Year)

The British SUV maker launched the V-6 on the LR3 in such markets as South Africa, Australia, Japan and the Pacific Rim in the fourth quarter of 2004. The spokesman does not confirm timing for the V-6’s U.S. debut.

LR3 U.S. demand is running between 1,300 and 2,000 units per month and Land Rover officials expect that number eventually to reach 3,000. The cheaper V-6 model should help further the cause.

jstoll@primediabusiness.com