Range Rover’s MINI rival

8 Nov, 2010 12:37pm Sam Hardy

Sensational baby brother to Evoque targets Countryman, rugged looks, strong efficiency as brand grows further

It’s Land Rover’s best-kept secret. 
Auto Express has learned 
the firm plans to continue the trend set by the stylish new Evoque, and scale down the Range Rover brand further with a smaller, sportier crossover. And our exclusive images show 
how the groundbreaking new model could look.

It will feature a shorter wheelbase, meaning less space for rear passengers but ensuring the car is even more nimble and practical around town. Lower suspension, 
a more steeply raked roofline and shorter overhangs give the baby the appearance of a jacked-up hatch. But with a price of less than £25,000, it aims to tempt affluent young buyers away from the default choice of 
top-spec VW Golfs and Audi A3s. 

We spoke exclusively to Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern, and asked him how far he thought the Range Rover brand could be stretched. “Well, you haven’t seen the bookends yet!” he said. “There 
is now the ability with both Range Rover and Land Rover to respond 
to a changing market, so what 
I’d say is watch this space.”

The Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Evoque compete in the £30,000 to £85,000 bracket, so there is scope for the brand to move in both directions. The trendy new model would fight for market share with 
the likes of the rumoured BMW X4 and Countryman-based MINI Canyon (Issue 1,124), plus quirky products such as the BMW X1 and Nissan Juke.

In reality, though, Range Rover 
is hoping to carve out an all-new niche with its most adventurous model ever. Clearly inspired by 
the avantgarde styling of the Evoque, the new baby will be distinguished by its Rolls-Royce-style, slot-like headlights and contrasting bodywork and roof. A high-rising waistline and flared 
wheelarches give an imposing stance for such a compact car.

As it’s smaller and more road-biased than anything the firm has produced in the past, the baby risks alienating traditional Land Rover fans. But McGovern doesn’t see pushing brands in new directions 
as a bad thing. “This allows us to offer a level of separation in terms 
of the product offering,” he said. 

“It’s an opportunity to take Land Rover back to its roots in a modern way. On the left, the versatile, but softer SUV market and to the right the hardcore, utilitarian market.”

As with the Evoque, the new model will be offered with a choice of front-wheel drive – for maximum efficiency – or a more rugged four-wheel-drive set-up. A four-cylinder diesel fitted with stop-start will have the lowest emissions in the range; it should put out less than 120g/km.

At the other end of the range will be a 2.0-litre petrol turbo with around 250bhp. But whatever the engine, the compact size, light weight and low centre of gravity should make this the most dynamic Range Rover ever.

If ever there was proof that Land Rover is looking to the future, this is it. It’s digging up its utilitarian roots, but leaving solid foundations.

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...oh it's supposed to look like that is it?

Will make minced meat out of the Mini Countryman. Although it may seem that all crossovers have been invented by now, there's definitely a market for high-riding hatchbacks. Wouldn't be surprised if the Evoque (the 5 door in particular) turned out to be popular among mums with young kids. And they give a rat's ass about 4WD.

Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern is 100% right in this and the thing to do is make it happen and quickly! All the hardware and know how and experience is there - just make it happen!

Mini and BMW certainly have no monoploly on this segment and there is certainly a place - and lots of waiting customers - for such a premium smaller car in this style.

Over to you Gerry!

An excellent design statement from Land Rover, just what I need a smaller 4*4 with a relatively low set of emission numbers. WELL DONE LAND ROVER!!

I bet Ford are kicking their own backsides for selling LR to Tata.

"And our exclusive images show 
how the groundbreaking new model could look."

Why are ALL your images "exclusive"?

This is how the model COULD look? Another Photoshop you mean?
When will you be doing some real reporting of actual vehicles?

Is spot on, note the door in the first photo doesn't fit right and is a slightly different shade of red, the swage line is wrong too as is the white front under tray, the grill is wonky too and doesn't fit well.

Nice looking though so if LR produce this and it looks just like this, it will be a first for AE, as usually their photoshops look bugger all like the finished vehicle!

Agreed about Ford selling LR and Jaguar when they were profitatble for the first time in 20 yrs! It reminds of Gordon Brown selling our gold reserves when they were at their lowest point in 20yrs, equally as stupid but in reverse!

What a well-defined and well designed car. Fantastic. The JLR design team, Jaguar XF, XJ, and a baby to come, and Land Rover Evoque and this babe, is definitely the best in its field, anywhere in the world, at this time.

For the first time ever I might be an early buyer of a new model, the Evoque, or even wait for a new model which still has no launch date.

i have a mini and and a ford f150,,, both get dumped for this,,, i want it,,,,hurry up and bring it to the states

Tazfan 2 is definitely spot on. Photoshop or no Photoshop, why does everything have to be "exclusive"? Show us some REAL metal, not these botch ups.

IF these images are to believed (I really hope not), are they SERIOUSLY contemplating actually MAKING this thing? What an abomination and an insult to the marque. I don't know where they got this Gerry McGovern character from but they'd best just as quickly get rid of him.

Oh yes and if this THING does make it into production, they'll need to fit it with reversing cameras because the rear view out of that window is non existent.

To compete with the Mini Countryman this beauty will need 5 doors

Gerry McGovern has been designing Land Rover products for years - he was responsible for the first Freelander (and the MGF around the same time). He's a talented bloke and very involved in Land Rover's decision making - I'd be very surprised if he goes anywhere else soon and on the evidence of recent Range Rovers and Land Rovers there's no reason he should. Goes without question that he shouldn't be judged from a sketch cobbled together by an Auto Express photoshop monkey.

Silly car - what is the point?

JLR have little choice but to introduce a small ultra-FUEL EFFICIENT model into the LR range because (just like Aston Martin) they have to get the average fuel consumption for the whole range right down in order to comply with EU demands.

Whilst the illustration is AE's guess of what such a car may look like, no matter how it looks (within reason) it will sell well, just because of the brand name which is seen as highly desirable by so many people who know nothing about cars!

I totally see where they're going here and it's they're best move since the RR sport. They need to target this to girls in their mid 20's-early 30's who love to schlep all of their stuff around everyday. My wife loved here RR and LR but they've gotten too pricey and look dated. This is good comeback for them as I think the RR has become symbolic of a wasteful, me, me, me era!

This could be the start of something great at last Land Rover and Jaguar are planning on putting british cars back on the world map again. Only comment is will it be difficult to reverse with such a high waistline?
Bring it on Land rover you know it makes sense.

First images of this car last summer showed a much nicer front end treatment with lager lights and smaller grille. Don't mess with the original idea - it was cool as it was. This is starting to look cheap.

headlamp??. apart from the head lamps it is a looker

I quite like it, even tho' it looks a bit like Audi designed it.

What's the point of photoshopping an Evoke and trying to convince people its the size of a mini clubman?
Perhaps if you showed it next to a scale mini clubman it wouldn't look like a full size offering.

I really like the look of this car, and a small Range Rover...and well, why not?
The original series One Land Rover, unbelievably , had a wheelbase shorter , much shorter than the new Mini.

I think the is definitely a gap for this baby Range Rover...and I can really seeing people buying it -
A really cool alternative to a small Audi 4x4 etc, and British made too.
Some more pics of it would be welcome... what does it look like inside?
What about a stripped down Land Rover version?

Build this and I'll buy 2 of these right now. Brilliant !
Great for taking the backroad to the shops.

Pity it hasn't arrived yet, as I'd be signing on the dotted line today.

Looks great. But are Range Rovers still plagued by poor reliability problems? Everyone in the trade knew Range Rovers were ALWAYS trouble. For decades - they had that reputation once off the showroom floor. Any owners care to post better news these days? I'd be very interested to know ...

That stupid rear end wth less visibility than a tank commander. Should do well in Cheshire and with hairdressers. Girls too, perhaps.