Land Rover is considering building a baby SUV. It would be sold across the world and make the brand the premium contender in a market niche that is set to rocket in popularity.
Land Rover’s global brand director, John Edwards, confirmed recently that such a model is being examined by the firm’s product planners.
“I can see a sub-compact SUV working in all markets… and I don’t see a reason not to do it in the future,” he said. However, Edwards also cautioned that he has yet to see a convincing proposition for the new model.
If it gets the green light, the new Land Rover is expected to be about four metres long (30cm shorter than today’s Evoque). Some sources say it would be based on a bespoke platform likely to be shared with Jaguar Land Rover’s Indian owner, Tata, and new Chinese partner Chery.
Indian sources say Tata engineers are leading the work on a new generation of diesel and petrol engines sized at 1.4 and 1.6 litres, which could be used in the baby SUV. The 1.6 could also be used by Jaguar.
Pricing for the baby Land Rover is expected to start at £18,000. That will put it at the top end of the segment, making it more expensive than the Mini Countryman and slotting under the next-generation Freelander, which is likely to be priced from £23,000. Entry models are likely to be front-wheel drive.
The baby Land Rover’s styling is expected to be a further development of the theme launched by the DC100 concept cars. It will also be influenced by the look of the all-new Defender, which, Autocar understands, has already been signed off for production.