At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, a concept vehicle was introduced which drew attention and admiration from journalists and laymen alike: the Land Rover LRX. That vehicle was lighter and more compact than any Land Rover or Range Rover to date, and it featured sporty styling and only two doors.
Now that concept has been transformed into a reality. Next year, Land Rover will begin offering a production model of the LRX, rebranded as the Range Rover Evoque (pronounced “evoke”). Details are still scarce, but we do know that the Evoque will be true to the LRX’s styling and size: compact, fuel-efficient, and only two doors. Europeans will get a front-wheel-drive version powered by a diesel engine, while the more off-road-conscious US market will receive a 230 hp (est) V6 model with all-wheel-drive. At an estimated 3,900 pound curb weight, fuel economy will not be astounding, but much better than existing Land and Range Rovers.
Land Rover is also rumored to have a hybrid version in the works. The electric motor or motors will reportedly power the rear wheels, allowing for supreme off-road performance via precise torque modulation. Land Rover is calling the Evoque a “mini-UV” (Utility Vehicle), and as such, we presume it will be more at home on urban and suburban streets than performing hardcore off-road duty. Still, the LRX/Evoque carries the Land Rover heritage into the future with better fuel economy, minimized size, and all-around practicality. Price is estimated to come in at around $40,000, so credit-challenged buyers (and who isn’t these days?) hoping to put second chance auto loans toward this smallest member of the Rover family may have to wait until used models become available.