RangeRover ups the ante
A five-door Evoque is garnering attention, writes Karla Pincott
AS CARSGUIDE predicted, Range Rover has acknowledged its core buyers with a five-door version of the compact Evoque SUV.
And early indications suggest it plans an aggressive assault on the prestige German brands with modern styling, strategic pricing and a heavy loading of premium technology and equipment.
Photos just revealed back up our previous spy shots in showing that designer Gerry McGovern has managed to stay true to the wedge shape of the three-door, but has extended the roofline and stretched the body to accommodate rear doors.
And a key point will be how much extra you’ll have to pay for the added metal and space.
‘‘We’ve previously indicated the three-door would start around $60,000 for the front-wheel drive,’’ Range Rover’s Australian spokesman Tim Krieger says.
‘‘Pricing for the five-door is something we’re working on with the United Kingdom where we position it.’’ He declined to be drawn further on that price, but don’t be surprised to see it land somewhere in the low $70,000 range, clearly firing a shot over the prestige German SUV battleground.
‘‘We think early adopters will veer towards the three-door, which takes us into a segment where we haven’t played before, but the five-door will have wider appeal simply because of its functionality,’’ Krieger says.
Fuel economy will be a key focus of the turbocharged engine choices: a lightweight 177kW 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel available in either 140kW or 110kW versions.
Engines will be mated to six-speed automatic transmissions, but the diesel will also have the choice of a six-speed manual with stop-start technology to further improve fuel economy.
Krieger says that as with the threedoor, buyers for the five-door version will have a choice of both two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, with the latter getting Land Rover’s Terrain Response system that continuously varies the front/ rear torque split electronically controlled Haldex centre coupling.
Premium fit-out and equipment will include a surround camera system, and the novel dual-view 8-inch touchscreen display that allows a passenger to watch movies and similar entertainment.
The five-door will make its debut at next week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, and will start rolling on to showroom floors in Europe from the middle of next year, and to Australia a few months later.
‘‘The five-door will arrive here in November 2011, about the same time as the three-door,’’ Krieger says. ‘‘Well launch both at the same time.’’
He says they are still negotiating with the UK on volume and ‘‘those discussions won’t be resolved for a little time yet’’.
‘‘We’re obviously sticking our hand up for as many as we can get,’’ Krieger says. ‘‘We’ve already got more than 2000 people wanting further information, and that’s 12 months out from the launch.’’
Super SUV: Range Rover expects its five-door Evoque to offer prestige German brands some competition.