Driving a wedge into small SUVs
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.’’