Land Rover’s entire Paris show stand is dominated by Range Rover Evoques. The baby Rangie isn’t due to land in showrooms until summer 2011, but the French show is the first public launch of the Evoque, né LRX.
The car was first shown at a VIP event in Kensington Palace, London in summer 2010, but now we know the full spec on the Evoque. And Land Rover today issued the first picture of the new, taller Range Evoque; it had been planned for a Los Angeles debut in November, but a leaked photo earlier this week has forced them to issue this solitary image today.
The 5dr Evoque will in fact be the big seller and is noticeably taller than the three-door, CAR understands. However, no official data is available on this variant.
Range Rover Evoque: the full range
The Evoque is Land Rover’s sixth model line. The company realised that a smaller, greener model was required to fit the zeitgeist and the LRX concept car from 2008 was always destined to fulfil that role.
Little has changed from LRX to Evoque. In fact, they’re nearly indistinguishable from outside, bar the bulbous door mirrors and handles, while the bonnet has been lifted by an inch for pedestrian protection reasons. It’s based on the Freelander platform and but its footprint is more compact at 150mm shorter and 100mm lower.
Crucially, the Evoque is also 100-120kg lighter than its Freelander spouse. That’s why the baby Range Rover will – in diesel, two-wheel drive spec – be able to duck beneath the 130g/km barrier. Ditching the 4wd hardware alone saves 75kg.
What’s it like inside?
Very good. The biggest surprise of all is the space available. From the low-slung prototypes we’ve been spying for the past two years and the tiny rear window, we were expecting a cramped car. Quite the opposite is true: there’s plenty of space for adults in the back and the boot is a decent size too. Big blindspot around the C-pillars though.
The front passenger compartment is well equipped, with a deeply dished steering wheel and extravagantly upholstered leather seats available (as a cost option). There’s a pop-up Jag-spec rotary gearchange and a refreshingly sparse dashboard.
Range Rover Evoque: the engine room
Choose from these four-cylinder Ford-derived engines: a 237bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol; a 148bhp 2.2 TD; or a 187bhp version of the same engine. The petrol is six-speed auto only, while the diesels can be specced as manual or autos.
Although Land Rover is concentrating its hybrid plans around the proper gas-guzzlers, the Evoque could theoretically be electrified in future.
When can I buy a Range Evoque?
Hold on a while; the Evoque is still a few months away from sale in July 2011, priced from around £30,000 up to £45,000. Three trims levels will be available: Pure, Prestige (the luxury one) and Dynamic (the sporty one), in a mix of three- and five-door bodystyles.
The squashed coupé-meets-SUV segment doesn’t really exist today, but Audi’s forthcoming 2011 Q3 fits the mould, as does the Infiniti EX range.