The Range Rover Evoque will get a world-first nine-speed auto box when a revised model goes on sale, possibly as soon as 2014. A convertible will also join the line-up, while smaller and larger cars are on the cards, too.
The nine-speed auto, fitted with a new stop-start system, comes from ZF and could boost economy by up to 16 per cent. Heavy fuel consumption is owners’ biggest criticism of the current Evoque, but four-wheel-drive diesel auto versions of the new model should offer around 50mpg.
Performance will be improved as well, with a 0-62mph time of close to seven seconds for the 188bhp diesel – down from 8.5 seconds.
Land Rover is also planning a higher-performance version of the Evoque, featuring a development of the 2.0-litre turbo to give close to 300bhp.
The company will then focus on expanding the range to take advantage of the booming SUV market. The brand believes that by 2020 the potential global market for SUVs will be over 20 million models.
And with 80 per cent of current Evoque buyers new to the Land Rover brand, there’s plenty of potential for picking up new customers. A source said: “We’ve had so much success with Evoque, we’d be daft not to do more with the brand.”
Land Rover revealed a cabrio version of the car at March’s Geneva Motor Show. It will be the first new bodystyle and is set to arrive in the next few years.
Following that, over a five-year period, Land Rover will look at stretching the Evoque’s LR-MS platform to create a more spacious and practical model that would sit between the £30,000 Evoque and the £50,000 Range Rover Sport.
Land Rover has also hinted that a smaller Range Rover, maybe wearing an Evoque badge as well, could be launched to take on models such as the Nissan Juke. Global brand director John Edwards told us: “With the continuing downsizing trend, and looking at the success of, say, the Audi A1, we’d be mad not to look at smaller models.”