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RE: PH Footnote: the Road Rover

RE: PH Footnote: the Road Rover

Monday 25th September 2017

PH Footnote: the Road Rover

Speculation that Land Rover sees its future increasingly on-road starts to snowball.



Last week it was a petrochemical company potentially replacing the Defender; this week it's JLR apparently meditating on the whole concept of what it means to be a Land Rover.


That's according to Autocar at any rate, which has Gaydon on the cusp of a model line revolution that would see it introduce its most asphalt-orientated vehicle yet: the Road Rover.

For anyone struggling to get that name past the lips without grimacing slightly, the nameplate reportedly heralds from the manufacturer's extensive back catalogue of experimental models and was originally mooted to bridge the gap between Rover cars and the Series 1 Land Rover.

The modern iteration, penciled in for production before the end of the decade, is thought to be a direct rival for the Mercedes S-Class and will most likely be an all-electric model aimed at the US and China.

Autocar suggests the Road Rover is being developed in parallel with the next-generation XJ (plausible enough) on an-aluminium platform capable of accommodating either battery packs or an internal combustion engine.

While the Road Rover (or whatever JLR decide to call it) would have some off-road capacity, its real emphasis would be on extreme luxury, and it is reputedly the combination of flagship status along with a zero-emission drivetrain that has led to the model being green lit.


The alternative - a fully electric Range Rover - has apparently been sidelined by the technical challenges of living up to brand-specific off-road capabilities while delivering a usable battery range for developed markets like California.

Combine that with JLR's long cherished aim of hitting annual sales of one million units, and the move towards an additional model range - one made to be lower and lighter and considerably more svelte - starts to make a good deal of sense.

But desirable? Or even likeable? That's obviously thornier. JLR must certainly have been emboldened by its most recent 'white space' exercise - Jaguar had never built an SUV prior to the F-Pace but that didn't prove an impediment to people buying in droves before they'd even tried.

Clearly there's no indication yet of what a Road Rover would look like (the rendering shown is Autocar's own) although you wouldn't bet against it heading more or less for the same sleek crossover silhouette.


Threading that needle will naturally be Gerry McGovern's primary concern: after all, no-one would hear of the Evoque's underlying limitations after Land Rover's design chief essentially draped a concept body on the Freelander's modest underpinnings.

A Road Rover (and we dare JLR to call it that) with all its associated baggage would represent a challenge far greater than that, and might conceivably test to breaking point the elasticity of the brand's current popularity.

But get it right, and much like the R8 did for Audi or the Cayenne for Porsche, it might just be the car which finally signifies that Land Rover is capable of anything.

Author
Discussion

Murphy16

Original Poster:

158 posts

7 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Isn't a Road Rover just a Jaguar?

hornetrider

63,161 posts

130 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Why had the article got pics of a Cayenne and an R8?

Ah. Tenuous random last paragraph. Odd.

Jimmy Recard

13,798 posts

104 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Murphy16 said:
Isn't a Road Rover just a Jaguar?
Or a Rover?

dme123

3,840 posts

114 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Autocar are so full of st.

ducnick

812 posts

168 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Jag XJ estate?
Advertisement

PositronicRay

10,736 posts

108 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Jimmy Recard said:
Murphy16 said:
Isn't a Road Rover just a Jaguar?
Or a Rover?
Needs a V8.

Prototype below



Edited by PositronicRay on Monday 25th September 18:53

ChemicalChaos

8,655 posts

85 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
In other news, the production line is said to be powered by renewable energy harnessed from the Wilkes Brothers and Spen King spinning in their graves

Kierkegaard

749 posts

23 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Don't Land Rover already have an S-Class rival? The Range Rover?

Niche too far with this one. And a cliche too far to say they would sell loads.

I'd like to see a modern Defender and/or Freelander replacement (not happy with the Disco Sport) before this but it's fairly obvious which direction JLR is going and that upmarket luxury.

Demonix

62 posts

137 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Looks like a photo shopped stretched and lowered RR evoque , big price tag and with no off road ability - it will sell loads!

foxbody-87

1,537 posts

91 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Looks alright from the back. Please for gods sake don't actually call it the 'Road Rover' though.

jakeb

105 posts

119 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
In the good old days, dealers sold Rovers and Land Rovers (and maybe the odd Jag to Arthur Daley types)

They own the Rover brand so why not do something useful with it.

Edited by jakeb on Monday 25th September 21:25

swisstoni

5,964 posts

204 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
Think I must be missing the 'news' here. Land Rover are making increasingly road-focussed cars.

unsprung

1,337 posts

49 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
article said:
Speculation that Land Rover sees its future increasingly on-road starts to snowball.
hehe my drink almost came out my nose

Apart from a small pool of inveterate fans, is anybody under the impression that Land Rover have been leading the off-road and overland segments? Everything's gone to the Japanese. In some respects, even the Americans are involved.

Meanwhile, Land Rover are mocked for mythic levels of unreliability. The pricing is eye-watering and the attitude is pungent. When viewed from outside the UK, there's almost a sort of "emperor's new clothes" about the brand and its ambitions.

The world would be poorer without Land Rover and its ethos. And I, personally, have no problem with a pivot that places the accent on road (and not off). But there needs to be more oxygen in the room. More of the signature ingenuity that comes only from Blighty -- with less posturing, less dressage.




Willy Nilly

10,834 posts

92 months

Monday 25th September 2017
quotequote all
It seems daft and slightly short sighted to me how they are pretty much turing their back on their offroad roots.

Obviously they are going where the (huge) margin is and they are not a massive, Toyota sized company, but why not keep their hand in off road with a Defender brand? There's still and enormous market for work trucks, so they could shift volume, but they just gave it all to Toyota. Surely they could still build a decent work vehicle like the Defender was, just make it work properly and be more useable. They could even have an all out assalt of the Pari Dakar, or some other big off road event.

The J bit of JLR doesn't seem to me to get much attention, it's all about the SUV's which are almost now a parody of themselves.

oldtimer2

601 posts

58 months

Tuesday 26th September 2017
quotequote all
Willy Nilly said:
It seems daft and slightly short sighted to me how they are pretty much turing their back on their offroad roots.

Obviously they are going where the (huge) margin is and they are not a massive, Toyota sized company, but why not keep their hand in off road with a Defender brand? There's still and enormous market for work trucks, so they could shift volume, but they just gave it all to Toyota. Surely they could still build a decent work vehicle like the Defender was, just make it work properly and be more useable. They could even have an all out assalt of the Pari Dakar, or some other big off road event.

The J bit of JLR doesn't seem to me to get much attention, it's all about the SUV's which are almost now a parody of themselves.
With the new XE, XF, F-Pace, I-Pace and E-Pace the J part has had lots of attention!

I read this idea of the Road Rover as a way to meet forthcoming regulations in California and China. We have yet to see the Defender replacement - between now and Geneva show? But JLR have said it is coming. An all electric version would work on a farm, recharging overnight.

chickensoup

382 posts

180 months

Tuesday 26th September 2017
quotequote all
Wonder what percentage of Range Rovers ever exceed a "deep puddle" wading depth, or require more than a 6" ground clearance

If they can build Jag bodied RRs why not RR bodied Jags

The value of "Range Rover" written across the bonnet makes the Evoque more aspirational than a Disco sport

spreadsheet monkey

3,287 posts

152 months

Tuesday 26th September 2017
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dme123 said:
Autocar are so full of st.
Ha ha. Best response to this article.

swisstoni

5,964 posts

204 months

Tuesday 26th September 2017
quotequote all
I think RR have got a proper off-road offering in the pipeline, just to keep the story alive really because unless it gets taken up by trendies, it will probably make a loss as there aren't enough farmers and gamekeepers to go around.

Cotic

469 posts

77 months

Tuesday 26th September 2017
quotequote all
I can only assume that Jag have lost the rights to use the Daimler marque. Surely that has more cachet for a luxury barge than 'Road Rover'?

I can see the appeal of a lower, estate-bodied Range Rover; but the branding is key for the market. Unless JLR are looking to buy an already established brand, or resurrect an old one such as Daimler, then IMO they're treading a dangerous path.

HeMightBeBanned

454 posts

103 months

Tuesday 26th September 2017
quotequote all
Being an electric vehicle, I understand why they couldn't call it a Range Rover given that 'range' will be the one thing it actually lacks.