The news came out of an Australian media interview with Land Rover’s design director and chief creative officer, Gerry McGovern, who stated that the company’s Special Vehicle Operations unit, and its SV models, are set to expand across many more variants.
The recently updated MY16 Evoque facelift adopts the Autobiography model grade for the first time, and it is likely the new SV model will be based upon that variant – following the lead of the Range Rover SVAutobiography which was unveiled at the 2015 New York auto show (pictured below).
“Evoque runs for another three years, or a few more years – and I’m not saying no to anything because the whole reason for the Special Vehicle Operations is to take all these different families and actually do versions on all of them. That’s the beauty of starting on [the Range Rover SVAutobiography],” McGovern said.
“You’ll see that operation working on [models] right through the Range Rover range, on Discoverys and eventually on Defenders,” he said.
“SVO is not necessarily about offering better, it’s not a brand above a brand. It’s about taking these vehicles and offering more choice, and that could go from offering limited edition runs of 150, down to one-off vehicles.”
Indeed, it could be that SV models will not only be the most desirable, but also the most powerful variants – or at least based upon those most powerful models
“In terms of performance – it’s not just about luxury execution and cosmetics, it’s about performance as well. The SV has got more power than the standard vehicles, so it’s a combination of things including performance,” he said.
McGovern also confirmed that a new-generation Evoque is in the works already – just a couple of years after the game changing compact luxury SUV with its showcar styling debuted.
“We’re actually in the process now of creating the next-generation Evoque,” he said, before being warned by a UK-based PR colleague that he’d probably said enough.
However, before then, the brand will launch the first-ever Evoque Convertible in August this year ahead of the 2015 Frankfurt motor show. That model has been confirmed to be sold in Australia by mid-2016.
The all-new drop-top Evoque has been teased in the past and was confirmed for production earlier this year, and Land Rover Australia general manager of corporate communications and PR, Tim Krieger, said the new model will be sold locally.
Krieger said the model will likely be most popular with metropolitan buyers, mainly in Sydney and Melbourne, and that it will offer the brand a unique proposition in the ever-expanding SUV market.
McGovern described the Evoque Convertible as something of halo model for the current range.
“It’s just another string to the bow,” he said. “We showed that as a concept back in Geneva a few years ago – the reaction to that was ‘yeah, why wouldn’t you do it?’”
McGovern indicated that the response was so strong that the company only needed time to go over the sums before committing to it.
“To be honest we’ve just gone through the number crunching to make sure it makes good business sense to do it,” he said. “Clearly it will have a halo effect on Evoque, it’s a halo in terms of its image.
“Having said that, in it’s last full year of sales, last year, we sold more Evoques than we’ve ever sold. So the desire for it isn’t reducing, it’s increasing,” he said.
“So yes, a cabriolet is sort of a natural progression. In a way there aren’t too many, sort of SUV-type convertibles out there, are there?”