Jaguar announced that it would seek to block the import to the US of Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and Volkswagen SUVs, alleging that the German automaker had appropriated Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response System. Now, almost a year later, JLR and VW have settled, according to a report published Tuesday by Automotive News.,
The terms of the settlement haven’t been made public, but it’s been speculated that the lawsuit filed by JLR could have netted the company upwards of $200 million — if it won, of course. This isn’t the first jaunt around the legal dance floor for the two automakers. JLR sued Bentley — also part of the VW Group — over similar allegations back in 2018 with the launch of the Bentayga SUV, though that suit is separate and may end up in court as early as 2022.
What is this Terrain Response System, and why would VW want to use it? It’s a system that allows a driver to select a specific off-road program, each with its own unique chassis and powertrain settings, for a given type of terrain. The selection is made via a dial, and it’s generally super easy to use and effective.
Land Rovers have a well-deserved reputation for being incredibly capable off-road, so it’s not surprising that Volkswagen would want to give its SUVs some off-road cred — even the ones that will never see so much as a fire road (read: pretty much all of them).
Volkswagen didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, while JLR representatives opted not to comment.