The new model would put Range Rover in direct competition with the new Bentley Bentayga while offering much greater exclusivity thanks to production being limited to as few as 1000 units.
Speaking at the launch of the new Range Rover SVAutobiography model, Paul Newsome, Director of JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division, said that he "could envisage" a flagship Range Rover which would have a base selling price of £200,000.
"I can see something that would sit above the existing Range Rover model. It would have to have a unique style and different looks [to the current Range Rover]," said Newsome.
Newsome said he was thinking along the lines of a car which would be partially hand-built. "You could imagine a car with aluminium [body] panels which would be hand-finished and hand-matched. Something that potential buyers could watch being made," he said.
Newsome added that he believed a car in this segment would be more about very high levels of craftsmanship, rather than simply adding ever greater amounts of technology.
Autocar understands that any flagship Range Rover would be be based on the current model and be powered by the brand’s current V8 petrol and diesel engines or hybrid transmission.
Newsome gave no indication when a new flagship Range Rover model might appear, or how far the project has progressed within JLR’s SVO division.
However, insiders have told Autocar that the average transaction prices of the first wave of orders for the Bentley Bentayga are as high as £250,000, showing that the market for an ultra-luxury SUV is stronger than many had anticipated.
Newsome also revealed that the as-yet unused SVX sub-brand - which is being reserved for vehicles with extreme off-road capabilities - will appear on a future version of the all-new Defender replacement.
He told Autocar that a future SVX Defender would have "much, much better" on-road abilities than today’s vehicle because of the new model’s underlying technical sophistication.
Newsome’s comment about the much-anticipated new Defender - which is expected to appear in 2017 - is the first solid evidence that the car will be far more upmarket than the iconic model it is replacing.
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