Range Rover Evoque: the beginning of green SUVs era for Land Rover

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

To maintain its sales, Land Rover would have to design greener versions of all its models, according to Carl-Peter Forster, the CEO of company owner Tata Motor Ltd.

In an interview, Forster said that the lightweight two-door SUV, the Range Rover Evoque that was unveiled last Thursday, would have to be followed by upgrades of its bigger all-terrain autos that have less carbon emissions.

Forster also said that he doesn't support the idea that if the company makes a small car, then it can afford to make a large car. He explained the value of more fuel-efficient engines being used to power the bigger Range Rover, describing it as a way to still be socially acceptable.

He revealed that Tata's Jaguar Land Rover unit is aiming for strong growth as the demand for high- end vehicles is being seen. With a price that starts at 33,000 pounds ($50,000), the Evoque is expected to help lift annual sales to 300,000 units, a 50% increase from last year's sales.

The Evoque will go on sale in the US in the fall of 2011. Forster also said that as part of its efforts to boost the environmental credentials of established models, it will introduce a new diesel engine in the 2011 Range Rover.

Company figures indicate that the eight-cylinder engine can generate 309 brake horsepower (a 15% increase) and can improve fuel economy to 30.1 mpg, up 18%.

In an interview, John Edwards, Land Rover's U.K. managing director, said that when it comes to fuel efficiency, the company is probably improving more than other carmakers. He did admit that the company really needed to do this. [via autonews - sub. required]

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