“Range Rover is the crown jewels in our model range, so it’s things like formality, elegance, sophistication and the levels of those you dial up from one vehicle to another, which creates that hierarchy and positioning," McGovern told CarAdvice at the recent launch of the new Velar.
“This is why we won’t do a seven-seat Range Rover, because with this vehicle, it’s about exclusivity. The optimum seven-seat vehicle for us is the the Discovery, and it’s probably equal or not far off the Range Rover in terms of premium-ness, but overall the Discovery is about versatility, whereas with Range Rover it’s about refinement.”
Land Rover, as a brand, has already demonstrated with Velar that it can stretch. Who would have ever thought it would have created a Range Rover like the Evoque.
“When we first developed that car, they said I was around the twist. 'You might sell 20,000 a year', said the marketing guy - haven’t seen that marketing guy around for a while - and yet we’ve been selling 130,000 a year for six years. That car saved us.
“Velar is definitely the most car-like Range Rover ever built, which is why I had to convince the PR guys that we needed to put these vehicles on 22-inch wheels. For me the car is optimum in terms of its proportion and design when it’s got 22-inch wheels on it," said McGovern.
And while a third row of seats might be out for Range Rover, dropping two doors seems like it’s definitely on the cards. After all, Land Rover effectively created the luxury SUV segment when it launched the original Range Rover in 1970 – and that was a two-door vehicle.
“I’d like to do a two-door Range Rover, why not?
“I think there are opportunities to create more unique products as opposed to traditional segments. We’ve got a fierce cadence of vehicles over the coming years, because in this age, we’ve got to be quick to market, we’ve got to be flexible and we’ve got to think outside the box," McGovern told CarAdvice.