Range Rover Evoque & Serena Williams

Tomorrow is the start of the New York International Auto Show in New York City, at least for the world's motoring press, and Land Rover will display their hugely anticipated Range Rover Evoque.
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Never before has there been this much interest in a new Range Rover model, and that attention stretches from London-to-Moscow and on down to Australia.

To ramp things up before the first press day tomorrow (that’s in a few hours) Land Rover in the United States hosted a special event tonight, to give a collection of A-List Celebrities including tennis star Serena Williams and Harvey Weinstein’s entrepreneurial wife Georgina, a close-up of the equally stunning Range Rover Evoque.

‘Anticipated’ doesn’t tell the half of it either. Word has it, that at this week’s Shanghai Motor show, no less than five well-heeled Chinese nationals arrived at the Range Rover stand armed with either a suitcase full of cash or chequebook in hand, fully expecting to drive away in their brand new Evoque. Apparently this type of cash transaction for luxury cars is more the norm than the exception in Shanghai, where cash is clearly, king.

On display tonight were the three and five-door versions of the Evoque and both variants look stunning. Land Rover better start thinking about logistics, as they might well run into supply problems if the US pricing that was mentioned is anything to go by.

The quality of the materials throughout the car rivals that of the XJ Jaguar we are driving around in, even down to the DriveSelector found on the Jag. Evoque also gets a fully electric rear tailgate, which appears to open and close faster that any other vehicle I have driven with this feature.

There’s a huge centre mounted LCD screen and a superbly designed central stack that flows beautifully.

We loved the black wheels and grille bits that are standard kit on the Dynamic model and the front seats, look to have been lifted straight out of the V8 Vantage – slightly less bolster for increased comfort though.

US customers will have the choice of a single powertrain for all Evoque models and it’s a brand new 240 horsepower (179 kW), turbocharged direct-injected inline-four. It’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and it will be available with either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive set-ups in most markets. Prices in the US will start at $45,000 and rise to $55,000 for the top spec Dynamic variant when the car goes on sale in six months time.

Australian deliveries should commence around the same time as the US although, pricing or exact delivery dates have not been confirmed.