These exclusive spy images are the first concrete proof that the 2012 Range Rover will derive significant styling influences from the smash-hit new Evoque, even extending to the smaller Range Rover’s sloping roofline.
The add-on disguise atop this Range Rover prototype can’t cover up the fact that the roofline of the new model will dip dramatically towards the tailgate, moving Land Rover’s flagship luxury off-roader in a dramatic new styling direction.
Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern signalled that the new Evoque would have a major influence on future Range Rover models when interviewed for Autocar earlier this year.
“The Evoque will inform the future Range Rover attitude,” he said. “There are aspects of the design that will be key. Range Rovers usually have a level window line and the body’s side and glass areas are equal. We’ve got rid of both on the Evoque, but we’ve still got the signature floating roof.”
Also new for the flagship Range Rover is a dramatically sloping front windscreen, a styling feature that adds sportiness to the design.
There’s also a much more aggressively sloping rear windscreen, again a design feature that enhances the sporty feeling of the design.
As well as adding appeal to the Range Rover’s exterior, a major focus of the new 4x4 is extra legroom in the rear cabin and a higher-grade design including more features to satisfy the increasing number of Range Rover owners using their car as a chauffeur-driven limo.
Fuel economy, ride and handling should be improved, too. The new Range Rover is constructed from rivet-fixed pressed alloy panels, just like the Jaguar XJ saloon, and is said to have shed at least 450kg, reducing the kerb weight to around 2200kg.