Part coupe, part sports car, part SUV – this little Range Rover Evoque represents the most radically different design from the storied Land Rover brand in decades. Its short, rather un-rugged stance and platform have caused many to dub it the “Range Rover for the city-dweller,” but what the modest Evoque lacks in off-road prowess it most definitely makes up for in collectibility. After all, what the introduction of the Evoque means for the Land Rover brand is sure to make collectors salivate in the future.
Though not as off-road capable as its larger brothers, this baby Range Rover is one of Jaguar Group’s breakthrough designs. In a world where less is more, this new Range Rover sports a 4-cylinder turbo churning out 240 horsepower, all while sitting on a chassis designed with the urban lifestyle clearly in mind. The Evoque is much more like a car than its Range Rover nameplate suggests, and its futuristic styling is difficult to ignore, sporting beautiful, flowing lines that meet seamlessly at the wonderfully boxy rear.
The Evoque represents the first signs of a dramatic shift in the Land Rover design ethos – as opposed to the hulking, gas-guzzling, but immensely capable Land Rovers of the past, this new Evoque is delicate, modest, and practical. Since it represents the beginning of a more conscientious Land Rover philosophy, gearheads looking for a beautiful and superlative-laden vehicle are sure to snap up the Evoque in the future.
Though the Evoque is, by no means, a rare car, with over 90,000 examples already sold worldwide, the international demand for this vehicle has made it rather scarce in the US. Upon its launch in late 2011, the American market was only allotted 750 units per month so that Land Rover could simply begin to meet Chinese demand (the second largest market for the Evoque). Even into mid-2012, Land Rover was only allowing 1,000 units onto American shores every month. The number of US-spec 2011 and 2012 Evoques, then, has been extremely low, and collectors will surely aim for these model years when they chase this car in the future.
Some extremely interesting options will also grace the most collectible Evoques in the future. The car is available in 12 exterior colors, eight of which are premium metallic, coming in at an either $475 or $950 premium depending on the intensity of the color. Evoques finished in the “Colma lime” or “Firenze Red” premium metallic paints will garner the $950 premium, making these examples extra rare and desirable. Evoques are also available with special “technical finish” or “polished finish” 20″ alloy wheels, options only available for installation at Land Rover dealers. It’s unlikely that many Evoque buyers will go through the trouble or risk of having a dealer install these specialty rims, but those who do will have some of the more desirable Evoques on the road. Finally, those Evoques graced with the $6,000 Premium Package, including a HDD nav system with 4×4 management, will distinguish their Evoques not just due to sheer price increase, but also because the 4×4 management will remind the driver of the rugged, off-road heritage to which their vehicle belongs. A car that stays pays homage to its roots while advancing so drastically is sure to attract enthusiasts galore in the future.
The Bottom Line
Despite claims that the Land Rover brand has “gone soft” with the introduction of the lighter-duty Evoque, this “baby” Range Rover just shows that the brand can be responsive to and aware of its customers’ wants. No more are the gas-guzzling, polluting Range Rovers of the past, and the Evoque is the poster child of this transition. The car’s place in the esteemed Land Rover corporation’s history is momentous, and it should only be a few short years before collectors transform this little Range Rover into a true modern collectible.