I too read the news story revealed by Autocar this morning a few times… I know, it seems illogical at first but when you think about it for just a moment, Range Rover building a car, not an SUV, kind of makes sense.
There are plenty of examples to cite where an OEM would, or could, never build a certain type of vehicle given its history and lineage. Take Jaguar and its highly successful F-Pace for one. Why would JLR build a rival to their own Rover brand? They did, and it has worked. As the demand for utility vehicles continues to increase, it seems clear that there’s plenty of room for more.
The eye-brow raising aspect of this story is not a car company building an SUV, but an SUV brand introducing their first ever car. With this information comes the naming of a new branch on the JLR tree that will henceforth be known as Road Rover. Once more, I know! It’s like April Fool’s six months too late, or too soon! Thing is, there was once a “Road Rover” concept from Range Rover in the early fifties so like “Velar”, this name is rooted in Range Rover’s past.
Details are on the first car that will wear the name are scarce but it is thought to compete with the likes of the Porsche Panamera, Mercedes S-Class and Jag’s own XJ. This flagship sedan, if I’m to use the rendering in Autocar’s story, looks like a five-door hatchback reminiscent of the Panamera Sport Turismo. It’s expected that this car will be all-electric and aimed at markets where such cars, like the Tesla Model S, are big sellers.
If such a car is to come, it could make its first appearance at the 2019 edition of the Los Angeles Auto Show and hit the road roving shortly after. Pricing might hover around the £90,000 mark, or possibly around $125,000, for a range-topping version.