Land Rover's crystal-ball department reckons the global lux-ute market is going to expand by 35 percent over the next five years, and it wants a big bite of this widening slice of profit pie. How best to get it? Expand the Range Rover
brand while shrinking its footprint, both physically and environmentally.
This could have been accomplished lickety-split and on the Tata-Nano cheap by pounding the LR2's sheet metal into the shape of the similarly compact LRX concept vehicle, but that's evidently not how the new Indian parent company rolls (praise Vishnu!). No, the LRX is being developed into the Range Rover
Evoque the hard way -- by reimagining every detail to perform in a way that befits its bucks-up branding, while remaining faithful to the popular concept car's initial design and packaging.
First, the basics: The Evoque will be available in the U.S. as a two- or four-door, with the two-door seating four or five passengers. In place of the LR2's Volvo-designed 230-horsepower, 234-pound-foot I-6 is a Ford-built 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injected engine good for 237 horses and 251 pound-feet. (It was developed alongside the Explorer's EcoBoost mill.) Power flows to the ground through a six-speed automatic transaxle and a standard Haldex Gen-IV all-wheel-drive system. Other markets will get the option of a 2.2-liter diesel that can be teamed with a manual transmission, auto start/stop technology, and front-wheel drive for max fuel economy.