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Does Range Rover Need A Performance Evoque?

Posted in auto industry, Land Rover, News, Range Rover by Kurt Ernst | October 14th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The 2012 Range Rover Evoque. Image: Jaguar Land Rover

While still capable off-road to some degree, the Range Rover Evoque is primarily a “lifestyle vehicle,” targeted to urban hipsters who want to be seen driving the trendiest new vehicles. As such, more effort went into designing a cool-but-functional interior than picking the perfect engines, although the turbodiesel and turbocharged gas engines used in the Evoque will be perfectly suitable to most drivers.

The highest output engine today is a 2.0-liter turbo four that produces 237 horsepower. Given that the Evoque can easily tip the scales at two tons with passengers and cargo, that’s not a lot of muscle to motivate the trendy crossover. Autoevolution and Autocar both report that a 300 horsepower Evoque has been built for evaluation, and preliminary testing shows the chassis is up to handling the added output. The engine is said to be a high-pressure turbo variant of the existing 2.0-liter engine, so fuel economy probably won’t suffer too much.

While I hate to talk any automaker out of building a performance vehicle, I’d raise this question about a high-output Evoque: who would buy such an animal? A well-equipped Evoque with the current engine can easily hit the $55k price point, which is the same starting point as a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8. That means a hotter Evoque would sell for even more money, making the choice of which fun-to-drive SUV to buy a no-brainier.

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