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Range Rover to launch sub-$54K Evoque
Smallest Rangie to go gunning for Germans when it arrives in Australia in November
18 May 2011
RANGE Rover’s Evoque will hit Australian showrooms in both three- and five-door guise before the end of 2011, kicking off at a lower than expected starting price of $53,395.
The baby Range Rover will have German rivals such as the BMW X1 and the upcoming Audi Q3 – as well as the larger BMW X3 and Audi Q5 – firmly in its sights when it arrives here in November.
Although its pricing cuts across the Land Rover Freelander, which ranges from $44,990 to $65,854 (and which the company considers as attracting a different type of customer), the Evoque will be by far the cheapest model in the Range Rover stable at almost half the price of the current entry-level Rangie offered here, the $99,900 Range Rover Sport 3.0-litre TDV6.
At launch, the Evoque range will have three engine options and two body styles, with the three-door ‘coupe’ attracting a $1500 premium. A two-wheel drive variant will be added to line-up early in 2012.
The engine options will include both versions of the 2.2-litre turbo diesel found in Land Rover’s Freelander2, the 110kW/400Nm TD4 and 140kW/420Nm SD4, as well as a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder that produces 177kW and 340Nm.
Both turbo-diesel engines are mated to a six-speed manual as standard, while a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is a $2480 option. The petrol will be available only with an automatic transmission.
Both the three- and five-door variants have a 2660mm wheelbase, while overall length is 4355mm on the three-door and 4365mm on the five-door, putting about par with aforementioned X1 and Q3.
Land Rover claims that clever interior packaging gives the 1635mm high five-door variant – when equipped with a panoramic sunroof – headroom equivalent with the substantially larger Range Rover Sport.
The three-door ‘coupe’ variant, which has a 30mm lower roofline than its five-door sibling, is fitted with two individual rear seats as standard, with a three-seat bench a no-cost option.
Both the three- and five-door Evoque will be available in three different ‘design themes’, each of which Range Rover claim has a “distinct appeal in terms of exterior styling, interior appointments and equipment specifications, which offer the highest level of on-board comfort, entertainment, communications and convenience”.
The entry-level Evoque Pure is, according to Range Rover, the “purest expression of the original LRX concept” – referring to the 2008 concept that became the production Evoque.
Externally, the Pure can be distinguished by its black tailgate badge, high-gloss black detailing on the tailgate and waistline, a dark ‘Atlas’ finish to the grille and side fender blades, as well as the Coupe’s distinctive bonnet louvres, 17-inch Sparkle Silver alloy wheels and LED front fog lamps.
Inside, the Pure gets seats finished in partial leather/Dinamica, a material made from 100 per cent recycled polyester, and satin brushed aluminium centre console.
Standard equipment includes a five-inch colour audio display with eight-speaker sound system, TFT Driver Information Centre, climate control air conditioning, push-button start, Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phone connection and audio streaming and an Oxford Leather steering wheel with controls for phone, audio and cruise control.
Standard equipment also includes Hill Launch Assist, rear parking sensors and, on 4WD versions, Terrain Response to set up the vehicle for different off-road environments, and Hill Descent Control.
The mid-range Prestige variant, which Range Rover says is more luxury-oriented than the other design themes, gets bright ‘Atlas’ exterior detailing on the grille, fender blades and bonnet louvre, silver badging, 19-inch diamond-turned alloy wheels and xenon headlights with LED lighting.
Inside, Oxford leather seating comes in a range of colour schemes alongside a selection of different real wood-grain finishes, tailored carpet mats and chrome tread plates.
Standard specification matches the Pure, while adding an eight-inch high-resolution touchscreen-controlled 380W Meridian Sound system with 11 speakers and two USB ports. The screen also controls the “configurable interior mood lighting”, which can change colour and intensity.
The sports-oriented Dynamic gets body-coloured sills and bumpers incorporating a unique exhaust treatment, black-finished mirrors, grille and fender blades, red badges and 19-inch Sparkle Silver alloy wheels.
The interior is differentiated by its aluminium pedals, textured metal console and perforated leather steering wheel, with “bold interior colour schemes” and the same list of standard features as the Prestige.
Notable options packages include the $7200 ‘Plus’ package available on the Dynamic, which adds one-piece sports seats, premium quality leathers and ebony or red colour schemes.
Meanwhile, the Tech package gives the Pure the higher-specified audio system from the Prestige and Dynamic variants, while adding features such as voice-recognition, HDD premium navigation, rear view camera with hitch guidance, advanced climate control and power tailgate to the higher-specified Prestige and Dynamic.
The package will cost $4500 on the Pure and $5900 on both the Prestige and Dynamic.
Land Rover Australia marketing and public affairs manager Tim Krieger told GoAuto that he expected the five-door to account for about 75 per cent of Evoque sales, while overall sales targets were still at the mercy of local allocation.
“We’re still negotiating on actual number,” he said. “However, we expect there will be significant demand for this vehicle, and obviously we’re working towards getting as much allocation as possible.
“Its anticipated to be a global hit, so obviously there will be strong demand from all over the world, but we’re trying to get our fair share.”
Mr Krieger told GoAuto that he doesn’t believe the Evoque will cannibalise sales of the recently-facelifted Freelander, saying that: “We see the two vehicles as having very different target audiences.
“The Evoque will appeal to a more youthful, style conscious market, whereas the Freelander is more versatile and more outdoors (focussed) – more traditional Land Rover.
“We think the Evoque will appeal to a whole new audience for the brand.”
Mr Krieger also said that while drivers of the BMW X1 and X3 would be drawn to the Evoque, it also would appeal to a wide cross-section of people, perhaps including those driving premium sports cars.
The Evoque is sure to boost Range Rover sales in Australia significantly, with the compact SUV likely to become the marque’s top-seller. Parent company Land Rover’s sales in Australia are up by 22.1 per cent so far this year, with the Range Rover Sport up 32.0 percent as of April.
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