Vijay Pattni22 September 2010

Range Rover Evoque: it’s here

Official: Land Rover has announced its baby Rangie will debut at the Paris show. Chequebooks ready…

Range Rover Evoque

The LRX wowed us; Victoria Beckham pouted it at us; liveried warriors marched off into the world for us... and now it's here.

Land Rover has officially announced the arrival of its smallest model, the Evoque, which will be offered like a sacrificial goat to the public at the Paris motor show.

See more pics of the Range Rover Evoque

The Evoque is as close an interpretation of the LRX concept possible, and is the lightest and most efficient Rangie ever.

And it looks pretty good, 'innit? While some of the Top Gear office regard it as a two-doored, two-wheel drive metropolitan abomination of all that we hold dear about this company's utilitarian past, even they can't deny that it's going to do very well. Expect it to be the ride of choice for all Fulham/Cheshire-based wives from next summer - much as the Audi TT and Mini have dominated that market in the past. As Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern says, the Evoque is a "bold evolution of Range Rover design".

Underneath that handsome face lurks some clever tech. You get the option of front-wheel drive for the first time in a Range Rover, together with adaptive dampers and something called a ‘Terrain Response' system on the four-wheel drive. We like the sound of that...

The base engine is a 148bhp, 2.2-litre diesel which returns 58mpg and creeps under 130g/km of CO2 (in the front-wheel-drive model), while a 2.0-litre, 238bhp petrol engine offers up a 0-60mph time of 7.1 seconds.

You get loads of techie bits like park assist, blind spot monitoring, surround camera system with digital cameras, TV, DVD and keyless entry. We're still waiting to see if it's got something called ‘electric windows', so check back for updates...

Land Rover is offering the Evoque in three design themes: Pure (brushed aluminium trim, soft-touch materials), Prestige and Dynamic. Prestige gives you ‘sparkly metallic details', while Dynamic gets you 20-inch rims and Big Respec'.

This little crossover SUV will cost from £30,000 when it goes on sale in summer 2011. And it's Made In Britain. It's split the Top Gear office fairly cleanly down the middle, so we want to know what you think. A hideous betrayal aimed at milquetoasts from the chattering classes, or the latest stroke of genius from Gaydon?

Discuss.

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