Land Rover growth hinges on 3 replacements
No margin for error as JLR aims for 1 million
Land Rover is facing pressure like it never has before as it readies replacements for three of its bellwether vehicles: the Evoque, Defender and Range Rover. A misfire on any could impede Jaguar Land Rover's drive to grow annual volume to 1 million units. Here is what's in store for Land Rover through 2021.
Entry-level Land Rover: JLR is believed to be working on an off-road vehicle that would compete with the Mercedes-Benz GLA and other premium wagonlike crossovers. It could arrive in 2021.
Evoque: With global sales since its launch now over 750,000, and annual volume holding steady at around 100,000 a year, Land Rover isn't going to tinker much with the second-generation Evoque coming next year, possibly as a 2020 model. Spy photos show the next-gen model retaining its coupelike appearance with a sloping roof and rising beltline. The next Evoque will grow slightly to improve interior room, and will move to a new platform, possible the D10, designed for small Rovers and Jags. Spy shots also reveal a few styling cues cribbed from the larger Range Rover Velar, such as flush-fitting electronic door handles, stylized taillights and the general shape of the grille. The next Evoque likely carries over JLR's Ingenium engines until a hybrid version arrives by 2021.
Defender: The 70th anniversary of the Land Rover brand came and went this spring without new information about the hotly anticipated next Defender, one of the original rugged off-road SUVs. During a presentation this year, design chief Gerry McGovern showed a sketch of the outline of the next generation, expected in about 18 months. It will retain its traditional boxy styling — but that's about all that's known. Land Rover is counting on the Defender to help it win back market share from Toyota in Africa, Australia and South America, while selling for a premium in Europe and North America, where prices are soaring for classic Defenders, the hottest collectible SUV on the market.
Discovery: A freshening is set for 2020.
Discovery Sport: A major refresh is scheduled for late next year.
Range Rover Velar: Geared for a comfortable on-road driving experience, Velar has been a strong seller. Its smooth exterior styling points the way to the future for Land Rover, while its interior, with large dual screens and large easy-to-use knobs and soft-touch materials, also hints at future design themes.
Range Rover Sport: Freshened this year, the Sport soldiers on until 2021 before the next generation arrives.
Range Rover: The $295,000 limited-edition Range Rover SV Coupe coming next year will test the upper limits of the brand. Only 999 copies will be made, but it is still a hugely important vehicle for Land Rover. The latest-generation Discovery has been given the space, equipment and off-road capability to fill the gap when the next-gen Range Rover arrives around 2021, moving far upmarket to compete with the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls Royce Cullinan and superluxury SUVs from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and others. The SV Coupe, with its custom interior, is an early look at the level of luxury expected in the next Range Rover.
Road Rover: Land Rover is rumored to be working on a pumped up (think Audi All-Road) battery electric off-road wagon that could debut late next year. It will likely use a version of the platform and drivetrain underpinning the Jaguar I-Pace. The Road Rover name has been trademarked. Such a vehicle would be the first wagon from Land Rover.
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