As we revealed a few weeks ago, off-road specialist Land Rover has revealed its next big model, the Range Rover Evoque. With a three-door body style, aggressive styling and heightened suspension, the new model will open up a brand new niche, that of luxury city coupe crossovers.
As the Evoque was immediately well received by the media and public, rumors started circulating about its possible rivals. The biggest and likeliest ones concern BMW.
It seems that the Bavarian company is preparing not one but two possible rivals for the Evoque. First off, it seems that the new Range Rover has made German officials green light the newest member in the X family, the X4.
As its name suggests, it will slot in above the X3, which just saw its next generation revealed, and borrow cues from the X6 coupe/SUV (actually, Sports Activity Coupe). Essentially, the future X4 will become a proper three-door coupe, and boast a much more aggressive design than the 2011 X3. It will no doubt share the same platform and most of the engines.
BMW isn’t limiting itself to just another off-roader though, as rumors also say that a high performance X4 M might also appear in the future. The powerful coupe crossover would borrow a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder engine, which is set to appear for the BMW 1 Series M Coupe.
A BMW X4 would also make sense given the big sales of the X6, which surpassed even BMW’s most optimistic predictions. As such, a smaller model, with a more affordable price tag, would definitely attract even more customers than the current X6.
Still, the German company isn’t relying on just a new X4 to fight the Evoque, as its British subsidiary, MINI, is also rumored to be preparing its own coupe crossover.
Dubbed the MINI Canyon, this new model will essentially be a three-door version of the upcoming Countryman crossover. It will no doubt use the same platform, together with the ALL4 all-wheel drive system, and almost the same engines. This range will be led by a turbocharged 1.6-liter, the same as in the Cooper S, and capable of around 180 HP.
The body will no doubt be changed, as the Canyon will be much shorter and a bit more sporty in its design. Essentially, you can expect the body of a standard MINI city car on top of the heightened suspension of the Countryman.
The Canyon won’t rival the Evoque directly, but it will undermine its appeal with those customers that can’t afford to pay a huge amount of money for a taller-riding crossover that, most likely, won’t be taken out of the city.
Other Countryman variations are also possible, according to older rumors, including a larger, seven-seat version, for those that want extra space. Besides that, a barebone version which would channel the original MINI Moke is also speculated.
For what it’s worth, BMW declined to comment on any of these rumors, but you can rest assured that the Bavarian company, including its British subsidiary, won’t sit idly and watch the Range Rover Evoque open up a new luxury niche all for itself.