Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Outlandish Rover

Land Rover Defender
Land Rover, the company that's most famous for its SUV's than its clothing range (thankfully) has in the past decade or more taken a turn for the better. When I was a young child I never really took note of the brand seeing that the original Defender didn't strike the average kid as a "cool" car to have. It was boxy, boring and ugly. What it offered the off road enthusiast was way more than that though. As till today it still remains one of the best off road vehicle to have.

Ranger Rover Sport

Now after BMW acquired Land Rover in the 90's it set about to build a compact SUV to attack a new portion of the market, to which the Freelander was born. It did really well seeing it was Europe's best selling 4 wheel drive model till 2002, so it was then they decided to revive another one of its models the Range Rover. One wouldn't call it "compact" but it was smaller than the Discovery and Defender but offered more luxury and sportiness than the other two. The revised Range made its debut in James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies, and from that model another variant was made.  The Range Rover Sport offered the person in the market for an SUV all what the standard Range offered and a whole lot more in terms of power with its 4.2 ltr engine pushing out 390bhp!

Land  Rover LRX Concept

Almost 7 years had passed since the launch of the Range Rover Sport and ownership of Land Rover had changed hands during that time to India's Tata Motor cooperation. Now given the product line up from Tata one wouldn't expect master pieces to roll of LR's factory but the world was in for a surprise when they show cased their LRX Concept at NAIAS 2008. I was lucky enough to see the concept model at JIMS 2008. It had characteristics of the Freelander along with the sportiness of the Range Rover but it was just a concept and people were skeptical on whether it would make it into production.

Range Rover Evoque
In 2010 Land Rover announced that it would put the LRX concept into production and it would fall under the Range Rover category as the SUV "Evoque". The production model is available in both 3 and 5 door models and has 2 engines to chose from. What astounds me the most about this vehicle is that when a manufacturer makes a concept, that compared to the actual production model is normally worlds apart. With this one, Land Rover kept the car almost 100% the same as the LRX. In terms of styling of the exterior I don't think they've changed a thing. Hence once on the road it would be one of the most eye catching cars around.

Range  Rover Evoque
Its come in for some stick, even prior to its launch in the country, yes the price tag is high with it starting at almost R600K. I personally think its reasonable seeing what you getting compared to other SUV's in the market. Firstly the design, I don't think that there is any other SUV that can even compare to this one. It is just stunning in every angle you look at it. Yes, some might say its just an over priced fashion accessory and Victoria Beckham had a hand in the styling. So what? You have the cash, might as well splurge and look good while doing it. Its the same reason people buy expensive watches, expensive suits, they look good and you know its quality that you're buying. The Land Rover name is strong world wide so you know its not some cheap Chinese knock off. Locals will only get to purchase this car at the begining of November as the Evoque makes it South African debut at the Joburg Motorshow which is currently on at the MTN Expo center in Nasrec. Over all Im glad we have the Evoque in production and would love to drive one some day but for now every time I see one drive past me I cant help but feel a little envious.

Interior of the Evoque
 Lets have one last look at it... its worth it.

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