Driv­ing a wedge into small SUVs

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

ADDING ex­tra doors to the Range Rover Evoque may not add much ex­tra weight to the price.

The up­mar­ket brand’s Aus­tralian of­fice is po­si­tion­ing the com­pact SUV to launch an at­tack on the ground held by pres­tige Ger­man SUVs – and are likely to price it sharply when it ar­rives next year.

‘‘We’ve pre­vi­ously in­di­cated the three-door would start around $60,000 for the fron­twheel-drive,’’ Range Rover’s Aus­tralian spokesman Tim Krieger says.

‘‘Pric­ing for the five-door is some­thing we’re work­ing on with the UK and where we po­si­tion it.’’

While he de­clined to be drawn fur­ther on that price, 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.

The first of­fi­cial pho­tos of the five-door 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.

Fuel econ­omy will be a key fo­cus of the tur­bocharged en- gine choices: a light­weight 177kW 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel avail­able with ei­ther 140kW or 110kW.

En­gines will be mated to sixspeed au­to­matic trans­mis­sions, but the diesel will also have the choice of a six-speed man­ual with stop-start technology to fur­ther aid fuel econ­omy.

Krieger says that as with the three-door, buy­ers for the five­door will have a choice of 2WD and AWD, with the lat­ter get- ting Land Rover’s Ter­rain Re­sponse sys­tem that con­tin­u­ously varies the front/rear torque split through an elec­tron­i­cal­ly­con­trolled Haldex cen­tre cou­pling.

Pre­mium fit-out will in­clude a sur­round cam­era sys­tem, and the dual-view 20cm touch­screen that al­lows a pas­sen­ger to watch movies which the driver can’t see.

The five-door de­buted at the re­cent Los An­ge­les Auto Show, and will start rolling onto show­rooms 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 three­door,’’ Krieger says.

He says they are in ne­go­ti­a­tions with Bri­tain on vol­ume and ‘‘those dis­cus­sions won’t be re­solved for a lit­tle time yet’’.

‘‘We’re stick­ing our hand up for as many as we can get – we’ve al­ready got more than 2000 peo­ple want­ing fur­ther in­for­ma­tion and that’s 12 months out from the launch.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.