The long-rumoured Range Rover 'Grand Evoque' is to be based on Jaguar's all-new lightweight vehicle platform, all but confirmed to underpin its first-ever SUV.
Based on information gained from a Bernstein Research report, Autocar says the new Range Rover Evoque variant will be based on the same ‘iQ[Al]‘ aluminium platform set to give rise to four new compact Jaguar models including an SUV inspired by the C-X17 concept (pictured below) unveiled at last month's Frankfurt motor show.
Allegedly codenamed L560, and so far referred to as the Grand Evoque or Evoque XL, the new Range Rover SUV is to be made alongside Jaguar’s in JLR’s reinvested Solihull production plant – a site that faced closure back in 2009.
Rumoured to be on the planning table since 2011 and speculated to launch in 2016, the Range Rover Grand Evoque is aimed to bridge the gap between the current 4455mm-long Evoque and 4850mm-long Range Rover Sport.
Positioning it between $49,995 and $102,800, based on local pricing, the UK publication believes the larger format Evoque will be priced above Jaguar's crossover by £8000 to £22,000 ($13,000 - $37,000).
Land Rover global brand director John Edwards said in September, that he was confident the new architecture would be suitable for Land Rover and Range Rover products and would not jeopardise their renowned off-road reputation.
“It’s an aluminium architecture, I’m sure it could be [tough enough]," Edwards said.
Land Rover director of programs Murray Dietsch also revealed the platform's cross-brand plausibility saying, “If we could find a purpose for it, absolutely it could be [used by Land Rover].”
“I can’t confirm or deny if we’re going to do something with it, but a lot of the technologies that we’ve introduced… just because it’s a particular brand doesn’t necessarily mean that the technology can’t be used across both brands," Dietsch said.
“The reality is from an engineering perspective we’re really kind of one business now. Jaguar Land Rover [JLR] is so combined that if we were developing something like this we would automatically be developing it with multiple brands in mind."
The use of the new scalable architecture should also reduce weight and improve performance and economy. The British firm’s incorporation of hybrid powertrains, as seen in the Range Rover Hybrid and Evoque_e research concepts, could also have potential.
Initially speculated to be built on a stretched version of the standard Evoque’s LR-MS platform, the extended model was thought to be around 300mm longer increasing cabin space, particularly for rear-seat passengers. The addition of third-row seating was also suggested.