Is Range Rover jumping into the SUV Coupe segment?

Our spy photographers just captured a rather odd-looking SUV tracking around the Nürburgring. Turns out, this heavily camouflaged test mule is the beginnings of a SUV Coupe from Range Rover. Yep, more than eight years after BMW debuted the X6 and a year after Mercedes-Benz released the GLE Coupe, Range Rover is hopping into the ring.

Range Rover’s high-riding coupe appears to share its chassis with the Range Rover Sport. We’d expect the two SUVs to share the same wheelbase and suspensions systems, although the coupe will undoubtedly have a unique outward appearance. Inside, the new Rover coupe will carry the current JLR design language, but could depart slightly from the status quo with a sportier appearance.

So will the Range Rover coupe do well in the market? Well, it’s hard to say, but BMW has been selling between 3,000 to 6,000 X6s in the U.S. since 2008, but with a sharp uptick to nearly 8,000 units in 2015. The X6’s European sales are more respectable, with the SUV selling 14,158 examples in 2015.

The GLE Coupe’s U.S. sales are lumped in with the GLE SUV, so it’s hard to say how well the new coupe is doing. In Europe, however, Mercedes sold 4,324 examples in 2015. That’s not terrible considering the GLE Coupe debuted as a 2016 model and was only available in dealerships for part of the year. Nevertheless, we’d bet Mercedes has a hit on its hands.

Range Rover would be wise to offer something slightly different – something slightly more SUV-ish – to lure buyers away from the competition. After all, BMW and Mercedes has the sporty theme covered, why not jump on the sporty/off-road idea? So will the Range Rover Coupe be a success? Only time will tell. In the mean time, let’s dive into these spy photos. Keep reading for the run-down.

Update 12/29/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Range Rover Sport Coupe out for a new testing session, this time during cold weather conditions in Sweden. As you can see from the photos the prototype looks pretty much identical to the previous ones, meaning that the car is still under intense testing.

Continue reading to learn more about the Land Rover Range Rover Sport Coupe.

Rendering

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Coupe Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 685255

Land Rover isn’t likely to change too much ahead of the B-pillars on the Range Rover Sport. That means it should carry the same looks as the newly released 2017 model. All the changes are concentrated out back, with its steeply sloping roofline and small rear quarter windows. As BMW has done with the X6 and Mercedes is doing with the GLC Coupe, the swooping roofline is designed to add an air of sportiness. Sadly, the roof shape doesn’t add horsepower, but only takes away rear headroom and cargo space. Still, SUV coupes are hot these days, and JLR is smart to jump on the bandwagon. This has the makings to be a great seller.

Spy Shots

December 29, 2016 - Range Rover Sport Coupe caught testing in the snow

July 21, 2016 - First testing session

Exterior

At first glance, this Range Rover looks like nothing more than a refresh in the works. It’s when the vehicle is seen from the rear that the coupe-like changes are evident. Check out that slanting rear window. Testing engineers have done a good job disguising this mule from prying eyes.

It’s also clear this test mule utilizes an independent rear suspension system, though that’s no surprise.

Down low, it seems engineers simply left off the lower fascia section of the rear bumper, leaving only the trailer hitch dangling behind. We can also see two exhaust pipes protruding from two mufflers on either side of the hitch. It’s also clear this test mule utilizes an independent rear suspension system, though that’s no surprise.

Through the heavy camo we can see the front end has a new shape. The lower fascia has a massive grille with two smaller air inlets similar to the current Range Rover Sport. Of course, this could all be a rouse fabricated by test engineers to throw us off. However, we’re betting the Range Rover Sport will be receiving a refreshed face sometime soon. The coupe version will surely share aspects of the new look. Still, expect the coupe to have its own styling cues.

Interior

Our photographer couldn’t nab a shot of the Range Rover’s interior, though it’s probably heavily padded in thick, protective blankets anyway. Nevertheless, expect the Range Rover Sport Coupe to share a very similar interior with the standard RR Sport. That means the wide, thin dashboard with its sloping face and large center stack will be present. Expect the same four-spoke steering wheel with its multitude of buttons.

Regardless of what Range Rover does with the interior, don’t count on this SUV coming with a third row seat.

Perhaps Range Rover will dump the analog gauges available in the base model Sport for the fully digital cluster found in the middle and upper trim levels. We do, however, expect this model to come with JLR’s latest infotainment system, replacing the one currently found in the Range Rover Sport.

Designers may set the Range Rover Sport Coupe apart with unique seats or leather color combinations. Maybe this SUV will cater to the “individual luxury” crowd by having four bucket seats with a full center console running down the center. Regardless of what Range Rover does with the interior, don’t count on this SUV coming with a third row seat.

Drivetrain

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Coupe Exterior Spyshots
- image 683237

The Range Rover Sport Coupe will likely be offered with the full range of powertrain options. This means customers can choose between the 2.0-liter Ingenium four-cylinder, a couple turbodiesel options (at least outside the U.S.), and the mighty 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. Range Rover would be foolish not to include an SVR version, as well.

The ZF eight-speed automatic transmission will pull duty behind all these engines. And of course, the SUV will come with Range Rover’s typical all-terrain capability thanks to its full-time 4WD system, adjustable air suspension, and lockable center and rear differentials.

Prices

Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz charge a hefty premium for their coupe-like SUVs over their more traditional counterparts. The X6 retails for nearly $6,000 more than the more practical X5. Mercedes charges a whopping $17,000 more for the GLE Coupe over the GLE SUV.

Expect Range Rover to follow this pricing guide, though we suspect the price gap will follow closer to BMW’s strategy. Expect the Range Rover Sport Coupe to start around the $78,000 mark, separating it just enough from the $65,000 starting price of the standard Range Rover Sport. This coupe version will likely debut in 2017 as a 2018 model.

Competition

BMW X6

2015 BMW X6 High Resolution Exterior
- image 555211

Well at this point, we know Range Rover is competing with the two Germans. BMW basically invented this segment in 2008 when it debuted the X6 – the truncated and sporty version of the X5. While sales have consistently been less than 10,000 units per year here in the U.S., BMW X6 sales have been more respectable in Europe. 2009 proved to be the X6’s best year, selling 19,805 units. 2015 turned out reasonably well, with 14,158 examples sold. But now with Mercedes on the table and Ranger Rover coming out of the gate, BMW had better step up.

The X6 comes in four flavors in the U.S.: the rear-wheel drive sDrive35i and the all-wheel drive xDrive35i, both with 300-horspower, twin-turbocharged inline six cylinders; the xDrive50i with its twin-turbo V-8 making 445 horsepower; and the ridiculous X6 M with its track-focused suspension and its 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V_8 tuned to make 567 horsepower. Base prices range from $60,600 to $102,200.

Read our full review on the BMW X6 here.

Mercedes GLE Coupe

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 585175

Mercedes-Benz has started late in the game, but is seemingly doing well. The GLE Coupe sold 4,324 examples in Europe in 2015. As mentioned before, the GLE Coupe was only available for part of the year in 2015, so we can expect 2016’s sales numbers to be much larger.

As for the GLE Coupe itself, Mercedes took the GLE SUV and gave it a new body, a sportier suspension, and offers some high-horsepower engines. Two versions are available in the U.S.: the AMG GLE43 Coupe and the AMG GLE63 S Coupe. The GLE43 comes with a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 making 362 horsepower. Fans of fast will want the GLE63, with its hand-built, twin-turbo, 5.5-liter V-8 making 577 horsepower. Prices start at $69,650 for the GLE43 Coupe and $110,650 for the GLE63 S Coupe.

Read our full review on the Mercedes GLE Coupe here.

Conclusion

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Coupe Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 685255

Range Rover is certainly expanding its horizons. It was just over a decade ago the off-shoot of Land Rover decided to break ground with the Range Rover Sport. Prior to that, Range Rover was considered a brand and model rolled into one. Now there’s the Sport, Evoque, and the big daddy Range Rover – not to mention the Autobiography and long wheelbase options available.

It seems wise for Range Rover to ride the wave of success BMW and Mercedes are having with their “four-door coupe SUVS.” It’s an odd category, to say the least, but there is money to be made. And after all, that’s the real reason automakers build cars.

Stay tuned for further updates as we get them.

  • Leave it
    • It’s an SUV with no cargo room
    • Will be expensive

Update History

Update 08/18/2016: We created a rendering of what we suspect the Range Rover Sport Coupe may look like. Check it out below.

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