13 May 2011

Range Rover Evoque ... Marks New Epoque?

Range Rover Evoque
After 40 years of service to Queen and country with the Range Rover label, Land Rover under its new ownership (Tata Motors) is introducing an SUV scion to a new generation of loyalists and skeptics alike.  Out with the urbane and “British green” trad and in with a rockin’ red-hued urban transpo that Land Rover hopes is the new must-have crossover ride.

Introduced last year at Kensington Palace with high-octane music bumping through loudspeakers and paparazzi flashes, the Land Rover LRX concept car was realized and presented to the world’s media --with a little help from fashion designer (and footballer's wife and former Spice Girl) Victoria Beckham -- as the new Range Rover Evoque, retaining its conceptualized design all the way through to production.

The model name says it all: Evoque, the ‘que’ continental spelling evokes the European driver’s wont for smaller car platforms, better mileage and the ability to drive and park on any major European city street, viz., London, Milan or Paris.  The park assist parallel parking system on the Evoque is sans pareil, slotting the driver into the smallest of spaces with equidistant perfection.  The name also hearkens back to the grand heritage of the nameplate, Range Rover -- a badge not given or worn lightly.

The Evoque comes in both 3-door coupe or 5-door versions.  Both cars have an aggressive design, with lines that give the Evoque the appearance of moving even while sitting still.  The headlamps up front wrap to an almost teardrop shape (it's as if Ms. Beckham helped the Evoque with its eyeliner), and the imagery continues with window-lines that sweep narrow to the rear.   This model seems to defy tradition and the snob, while seeking to attract the upwardly mobile American or the British yob.

To help keep this 4-cylinder moving, Land Rover designers have added a turbocharger and have lightened the load considerably using aluminum for the body, making the crossover 35% lighter than the upperclassman Range Rover Sport.   But, don’t let the small footprint fool you; there is more clearance on the Evoque than on the Land Rover LR2 as well.   The Evoque attempts and succeeds in establishing an urban city design, while maintaining its off-road street cred.

The Range Rover Evoque most likely will compete directly in this market segment with the BMW X3, Volvo XC60, the Audi Q5 and the Lincoln MkX.  But, with a base price rumored to be about $45,000, the car will clearly price some buyers out, while becoming the entry vehicle for other drivers desiring an “affordable” Range Rover.  This crossover ute really may be the vehicle to help aspirational owners finally “crossover” into the luxury brand, marking a new époque for the Range Rover Evoque ... that is until sister company Jaguar releases their version of the crossover rumored to be happening sometime around 2013.


Shelley said...

I hate the damned things - they belong in the country side, not on the suburban streets of Britain. Have you ever been over here? THERE'S NOT ENOUGH SPACE for these road hogs. They're driven by jumped-up people who want to scream 'I'm Desperately Middle-Class and Aspiring so of course you will yield me the right of way'. Right of way aside, you can't SEE past them and it makes driving that much more difficult.

I will long remember being lost in a suburban school zone at 3pm trying to find the solicitor's office (what they call lawyers over here - whores every one of them) to pay him £160 to notarise my signature (see what I mean?). All the Middle-Class Militant Mothers were out in their SUVs to pick up their little dahlings - can't have them walk 4 blocks home, they might be kidnapped or something. I might well have missed my appointment all together, cornered and trapped by larger vehicles until I got rather desperate myself and remembered my vehicle was older and I could live with a scratch or two, I've got no image to maintain. I got there and paid up, so I could sell my grandparents' house.

All I can say is if one owns a bright red SUV, one had best not leave it on the street or in certain car parks, lest one get some ugly scratches on it...

Sell them in the US where you have the south 40 to park... fine by me.

Barbara said...

Well. That last comment certainly spells it out. :) Go park in the south 40 indeed. The Brits still think we're the colonies.

What i'm loving today:
I may be mid 70's my dear, but I still do step and weights. Not ready for water aerobics....yet.
It's Complicated had fab music..even put it on my shuffle, but had to hold my nose at Baldwin.
(Oh dear. I'm very outspoken today.)

christian soldier said...

still have fond memories of my 1976-International Scout II -
that was an SUV!

I'll hold on to my 2003 Lexus until another - real SUV comes along!

Caleb S. Garcia said...

Great write up Mr. G. Slick description - "the appearance of moving even while sitting still." I love your play on words- "époque for the Evoque." I'm sold.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

I should not have read this post. I miss my Land Rover incredibly. I do not miss filling it's tank (especially now) but this new Evoque is very tempting. I however would be reduced to buying it several years from now from the 'used' car lot. Must keep an ear out to find out what the boys of 'Top Gear' have to say? It really is a handsome vehicle. I drove the Audi Q5 and although I love it's look, did not like how it drove.

Will be dreaming of the turbocharged Evoque tonight!

x Deb