The release of the Range Rover Evoque makes it clear that land Rover is confident enough in the brand to shift their focus from its core values. The explosion of the most recent Range Rover models, including the sport; into mainstream luxury automotive portfolio’s has shown Land Rover that they can compete with the best on every level. No single vehicle matches the current Range Rover in terms of style, capability, and refinement. The major downside to must urban dwellers owning a Range Rover is that they will never fully experience its capabilities as an off-road machine. This is where Land Rover will attempt to fill a need with the Evoque.
Once upon a time someone would mention Land Rover and an image would flash in my mind of a yellow Defender 110 trudging through some African jungle on a Camel Trophy race. Those days may be gone, but Land Rover hopes to enter the forefront of the consumers mind when thinking about mid-size SUV’s full of luxury appointments. The segment is crowded and includes big players from BMW , Mercedes , and Audi. It seems that Land Rover has learned a lot from its Ford and BMW days and is poised to release its 3 different versions of the Evoque.
It will be the smallest, lightest, and most fuel efficient Range Rover ever made. The term, “Range Rover ” must be taken with a grain of salt, because yes Land Rover is tagging this new model as a Range Rover Evoque instead of simply a new line. Nonetheless, it seems that prices will fall in the $45,000 range depending on which model you choose. Head to Land Rover’s website to use the Evoque configurator and build your own.
Hit the jump for more details on the Range Rover Evoque
UPDATE 04/04/2011: Land Rover UK has announced that the new Evoque model will go on sale with prices ranging from £27,955 ($44,800) for an eD4 Pure 5-door 6 Speed manual 2WD model to £44,320 ($71,000) for the Si4 Dynamic with LUX Pack 6 Speed Automatic 4WD version. The company has also put up an online cofigurator so customers can configure the Evoque of their dreams.
UPDATE 07/01/2011: Land Rover has announced the US prices for the 2012 Evoque SUV scheduled to go on sale this fall. The Evoque will be offered at a starting price of $43,995 for the five-door, and $44,995 for the coupe. It will deliver a fuel economy of 28 mph on the highway and 19 mpg city.
Press release after the jump.
It is great to see a car company truly follow through on one of their concept vehicles. All too often the out of this world designs seen at the world’s largest car shows will be big news that weekend, but forgotten by Monday. In 2008 Land Rover introduced the LRX concept vehicle at the Detroit International Auto Show and has taken cues from it as well as the Range Stormer concept into the new Evoque. The new design is a welcome exception from the normal Land Rover styling, as well as the many awkward crossover SUV’s from the competition.
It truly is evocative, the high beltline and floating roofline make this Land Rover look as though it should be from 2050, not 2011. Large wheel arches and a strong shoulder help give the Evoque its muscular stance and optional 20” wheels match perfectly. The roofline is sloped backwards and even as the car sits in a parking lot it seems to be moving forward rapidly. It proportions are also new territory for Land Rover with the Evoque measuring 17 inches shorter than the current Sport model. Another unique feature for these will be the headlights and taillights. LED light-blade technology creates a 3-dimensional jewel pattern giving the lights their very own personality.
The Evoque will be offered in both 3 door and 5 door variants making it versatile for differing customers. Land Rover will offer three different trim lines for the two vehicles; Pure, Prestige, and Dynamic. Consider Pure to be the entry level model which will also be the start of the price point. The Prestige is equivalent to the most luxurious option. It includes unique 19-inch wheels, sparkling metallic exterior details, and an interior wrapped entirely in leather. Dynamic trim is the sportiest version and truly gives the Evoque a sinister feel. Unique bumpers and 20-inch wheels combine with new sills, grille, and tailpipes to make the vehicle more aggressive. A contrasting color roof and spoiler are optional.
Lighting plays a large role within the cabin of the Evoque and this can be seen as soon as the driver opens his door. A choreographed display of different accent lighting and instrument lighting begins to turn on and welcome you into the cabin. At the same time the circular shift knob rises from the center console. Colors can be changed by the driver based upon their mood, but sport mode will give the interior an intense red glow and gauges will follow suit.
The Prestige line features an interior most akin to the big brother Range Rover with every surface wrapped in leather. Two-tone color schemes complete with twin-needle stitching help make this one comfortable place to spend time. It also helps to separate itself from the lower-end crowd by including real wood and metal finishes in various places. The Dynamic package includes a much more heavily bolstered seat and perforated leather for that sporty feel.
All models will receive the 8-inch touch screen control and navigation unit fitted prominently in the center of the dash. Its Bluetooth capabilities and various USB and auxiliary inputs make this car fit right in with the tech savvy clients of today. Land Rover has been developing new audio systems with Meridian and the Evoque will obtain their first collaboration. The 17 speaker system will use 825 Watts of power, which should be more than enough for any audiophile.
Other options include:
Surround Camera System with five digital cameras, and reverse system.
Dual-Zone climate control
HDD Navigation System
Rear seat entertainment package
Keyless Entry System
Adaptive Headlamps with auto dipping
Heated windscreen, front seats, and steering wheel
Land Rover realizes that becoming more sustainable is a major hurdle to get over as the company keeps producing large V8 based SUV’s. The Evoque will be the first vehicle in the lineup to make up for everything else. It uses a 240hp 2.0-liter Si4 turbocharged engine. The use of direct fuel injection and twin variable valve timing make the engine powerful and efficient. I would not plan on beating your neighbors Range Rover Supercharged in a quarter-mile, but you will be driving the most fuel efficient Land Rover ever. The low Co2 technologies incorporate power assisted steering, smart regenerative charging, and an optimized transmission.
Land Rover has also gone to great lengths in creating a vehicle for the urban jungle as well as something that does not lose the very essence of what the company was founded upon. Adaptive dynamics uses Magna Ride dampers to provide enhance balance, nimble handling, and a controlled ride. The Evoque will still use the Terrain Response system found in its siblings to adapt to changing conditions both on and off-road.
This new model will fit in with the Mercedes GLK, BMW X3, and Audi Q5. Less refined competition comes from nearly every other manufacturer today and the mid-size SUV market has become one of the largest. The biggest advantage Land Rover has is coming into the game late. They have been able to see what other companies are doing and tailor their formula accordingly. The Evoque will make the biggest statement out of anything in its class and when driving a Range Rover is anything else really more important? Different trim levels, 3 or 5 doors, and tons of options make the Evoque something that each customer can truly make their own. You can have a sporty 3-door Range Rover Stormer or a 5-door miniature Range Rover HSE. Even though the Land Rover faithful may find the Evoque an abomination to the off-road legend, it will undoubtedly find a home in the urban landscapes that these crossovers dominate.