WHEN NEWS OF A NEW Range Rover broke, I watched from afar, interested in the progression of a top British marque, but unable to see how caravanners would benefit.
I speak of course about the new Evoque. Upon the release of the first pictures, I couldn’t fault the design, but equally couldn’t shake the feeling this was another large, extremely expensive luxury-off roader.
There’s a 5-door version, too
However, as more information was made available I became more and more interested, to the point that Range Rover’s latest revelation has spurred me to write this blog post – a 5-door version is being built.
A little bit of background information in case you aren’t familiar with the Evoque… Essentially it stands as an attempt to overhaul everything the brand has ever accomplished, everything Range Rover has ever stood for. This is a compact SUV, still luxurious, still exquisitely finished, but much cleaner, more efficient and importantly cheaper than Range Rovers of old.
When it is launched in the summer of 2011, the Evoque will be available in 3- or 5-door variants, with the choice of either a 150bhp or 190bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine or a range-topping 240bhp 2.0-litre petrol. The petrol is 6-speed automatic only while the diesel can be fitted with a manual or auto gearbox.
The new aluminium engines are up to 40kg lighter than previous models and the 150bhp diesel is capable of sub-135g/km CO2.
Compared to the standard Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which weigh in at between 2500-2880kg, the Evoque will start at 1600kg for the 3-door and 1630kg for the 5-door.
Perhaps the most encouraging bit about the Evoque is the asking price, which starts at just £30,000. That’s still a hefty outlay, but considering that most new top-end family cars are demanding this sort of investment, the Evoque becomes all the more appealing.
Specific towing limits and weights are yet to be released, but 1600kg means an 85% rule figure of at least 1360kg, a weight that corresponds with much of the small-family caravan market’s MTPLM figures, and a bulk that the revised diesel will have no problem pulling.
Premium quality, latest technology
Granted, this car won’t appeal to the majority of caravan owners as its price still exceeds most budgets. Yet 90% of the retired couples I spoke to on our stand at the October’s Caravan & Motorhome show wanted no-compromise towing ability. Spending £30,000 on an Evoque gets you premium quality and the latest technology for second-hand VW Toureag or Land Rover Discovery 3 money.
It’s a thinker.