Is the Land Rover that we knew and loved gone for good?

I’ve seen the three new cars in the metal and there’s no doubt they have a technical sheen about them that is very impressive. These cars don’t give away anything to the best the Germans can offer – in static and technical appeal at least.

It makes sense that a company that sees itself as a ‘niche player’ (a phrase used by a number of JLR staffers at the unveiling of the new cars) should want to drive itself upmarket.

With output unlikely to hit half a million in the medium term (with a least four platforms and two factories to finance) JLR desperately needs the healthy margins delivered by premium pricing.

Perhaps that’s why there’s a creeping Range-Roverisation of the entire model range.

The Range Rover is even plusher than before and both the Range Rover Sport and Discovery (despite its Land Rover badging) get a proper, luxo, Range Rover-style interiors.

(At the Discovery price point ‘people expect’ Range Rover-like design language and quality LR design boss Gerry McGovern told me. Perhaps for the Disco 5 they’ll also expect a Range Rover badge.)