British car manufacturer Land Rover has been synonymous with off-road and Sports Utility Vehicles since it was founded, making a name for itself by building some of the toughest go-anywhere models in Europe.
Sadly, the company realized some time ago that it can’t afford to target just off-road enthusiasts, and created the Range Rover model, in order to appeal to those who want a bit more luxury with their off-road-ready SUV.
Seeing as how the Range Rover is currently duking it out with models like the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz ML, Land Rover has decided to kick things up a notch.
As such, it revealed a few years ago the Land Rover LRX concept, a high-riding crossover with a coupe body style and a much more aggressive take on the classic design.
Now, after quite a bit of waiting, the company has revealed the production version of the LRX: the 2011 Range Rover Evoque, at the 40th anniversary of the company.
“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,” said Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover. “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.”
As you can see in the single image released up until now, the Evoque is almost exactly the same as the LRX concept, and marks a new stage for Land Rover as a whole, being a first in many areas.
The Range Rover Evoque will be the smallest and lightest model in the whole lineup, but also the first to be made available with front-wheel drive, an unusual step, given Land Rover’s off-road pedigree.
Still, there is reason behind this decision, as the FWD Evoque will become the most efficient model in the whole range. It will use, among its engine lineup, a special 2.0-liter diesel unit, capable of emitting just 120 g/km of CO2, while its fuel economy will no doubt be most impressive.
Still, don’t expect that highly frugal diesel engine to be offered in the US market, as Land Rover plans on targeting smaller luxury crossovers, like the BMW X3 or Audi Q5. As such, it will no doubt use a V6 gasoline engine, in order to provide adequate amounts of power.
The Range Rover Evoque, when it will debut around the fall of 2011, will be available both as a three-door model, but also as a five-door. Expect to see some novel marketing, as Land Rover will target it to rich people living in urban environments, who need something more agile around the city. The first step has already been taken, as Land Rover brought Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, to the official reveal of the Range Rover Evoque, in order to highlight its new image.
The 2011 Range Rover Evoque is definitely a gambit for Land Rover. Judging from the current state of the luxury market though, the attractive design coupled with the novel marketing ideas might make the Evoque a best seller.