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2010-07-02 08:19

Four decades after the launch of the original Range Rover, the new Evoque must guide Land Rover to a secure future – where lower emissions are crucial. Front-wheel drive is part of this strategy.

Land Rover has finally released official details about its most controversial model yet, the new Range Rover Evoque.

The new Evoque, based on the LRX concept,  is set to go on sale in 2011 in a record 160 markets globally - engaging customers previously beyond Land Rover's marketing abilities.

Designer Gerry McGovern is responsible for the new vehicle being touted as being the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient Range Rover yet. It will also debut two-wheel drive – making it easily the most controversial vehicle to sport a Land Rover badge.

The Evoque’s styling is dominated by a rising waistline and sloping roofline, which render an asymmetrical glasshouse profile.

As futuristic and refined as the Evoque’s styling is, it still has a name sounding far too familiar to the Lotus Evora and we would not recommend going to a Land Rover Defender club meeting with a front-wheel drive Evoque and expect complimentary drinks.

Production of the Evoque is expected to create 1000 jobs at Land Rover’s Halewood plant on Merseyside.

More importantly, the Evoque’s 130g/CO2 per km emissions profile will buy Land Rover time to develop a new Defender and trim mass (whilst adding more efficient drivetrains) to its Discovery and Range Rover models. Think of the Evoque as a larger, very posh Freelander 2 with lower emissions.

In a year celebrating four decades of Range Rover, and a week which saw the death of that car's design chief Charles Spencer King, Land Rover traditionalists are witnessing a crucial juncture in the company's history.


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