Range Rover unveils Evoque SUVThu, 01 Jul 2010
Land Rover has taken the wraps off its new small SUV, the two-door Range Rover Evoque, as it makes a bid to appeal to fashion-conscious urbanites.
The Evoque (not to be confused with the Cadillac Evoq concept from 1999) maintains virtually all the styling from the LRX concept that previewed it two years ago. The example shown at a the unveiling in England on Thursday appeared to be slightly smaller than the concept.
Land Rover gave few details about the Evoque and did not show the interior. A full introduction is planned for the Paris motor show in late September. The SUV goes on sale in Europe next summer and in the United States in fall 2011.
The Evoque is the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient vehicle in the storied brand's lineup. It uses the Land Rover Freelander platform as its starting point, but is significantly reengineered. The Evoque and Freelander share less than 30 percent of their platform components.
Land Rover execs were coy about interior details. The Evoque is expected to have seating for four people and possibly five with a reconfigured back seat. The back seat will also fold flat to increase cargo room. The copy shown on Thursday had a full-length sunroof, which is expected to be an option.
Four-wheel drive will be part of the package, but off-roading is not the primary mission of the Evoque. Land Rover would like to see 50 percent of Evoque buyers be women. The company debated several names for the SUV, including the Storm, the Ventura and the RRX (which was deemed too hard to pronounce.)
In keeping with the fashion-design brief, Land Rover is working with model and former pop singer Victoria Beckham. She will be a consultant/adviser to the company.
The Range Rover Evoque was rolled out as part of a 40th-anniversary celebration of the Range Rover line.
The Full Press Release:
The first official picture of the all-new addition to the Range Rover family is released today, following an exclusive preview in London for guests attending a 40th birthday celebration of Range Rover held with long time U.K. Range Rover partner, VOGUE magazine*.
Named the Range Rover Evoque, this all-new coupe will join the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport in North American dealerships in fall, 2011. It will be the smallest, lightest and most fuel efficient Range Rover ever produced. The compact 4WD Range Rover Evoque is engineered to meet North American customer and regulatory demands for increased fuel efficiency in highly capable luxury SUVs.
Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover, said, "Today is a very special occasion for Range Rover; not only are we celebrating 40 years of the brand, we are also demonstrating our exciting future by showing the all-new Range Rover Evoque. Range Rover is one of the most highly regarded and iconic vehicles in the history of motoring and has been a continuing success since we first introduced it in 1970. The all-new Range Rover Evoque is an important step for the future continued success and growth of the brand. Customers can be confident that the new car will be premium, luxurious and just as special as the other Range Rover models. Its sporting looks and unique qualities will open the brand to a new group of customers who may not have considered a Range Rover product before.
"The all-new Range Rover Evoque will be built at our multi-award winning plant in Halewood, creating 1,000 new jobs in the Merseyside area, a fantastic boost to the UK economy. The Halewood plant has a reputation for excellence and quality and is recognized throughout the industry as a leader in Lean Manufacturing.
"The all-new Range Rover Evoque is a true global car and will be sold in over 160 countries. It was important to give the car a name that was instantly recognizable through language and cultural boundaries throughout the world. We wanted to create a new name which was innovative and different. A name which implies exclusivity and arouses emotions, Evoque is cosmopolitan and cross-continental, sophisticated and matches the car's urban elegance," he added.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover design director, said, "The Range Rover is an iconic design that has stood the test of time and it's not difficult to see why. Like the current version, the original Range Rover is such a simple and memorable shape that is easily recognizable.
"The all-new Range Rover Evoque marks a bold evolution of Range Rover design, providing customers with a desirable, premium and compact car like SUV. In 2008 we introduced the LRX concept car: after a positive reception worldwide, the natural step for the business was to turn the LRX concept car into reality. Tonight we wanted to show the world that we have stayed true to our word and delivered a car that completely represents the spirit of the LRX concept.
"The all-new Range Rover Evoque will resonate with customers on an emotional level. Its unique silhouette accentuated by the distinctive falling roof and dramatic rising waistline creates a modern and relevant execution of the familiar Range Rover design language. This car makes a powerful statement of the Range Rover's brand intent to appeal to a wider audience," he added.
Chris Marchand, Executive Vice President of Land Rover North America, said," The new Range Rover Evoque has a very clear mandate in North America to give luxury SUV customers another choice to enjoy Range Rover style, luxury and all terrain traction, but with a more compact, fuel efficient footprint. This is an incredibly important expansion of the Range Rover brand in this market."
The all-new Range Rover Evoque will make its global public debut at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September and will go on sale from next summer and in North America in the fall.
By Julian Rendell