It's official: Land Rover has created a new niche, and a booming one at that. It's no small compliment when car making's big boys start dancing to your tune, and at this year's Frankfurt motor show, Land Rover enjoyed that spectacle with the unstoppable rise of the style-led SUV.
Smothering the practicality, elevation and verge-nibbling talents of an SUV with designer togs seems like a simple enough concept, but it was Land Rover that got it done. The Range Rover Evoque is doing what the Renault Espace did decades earlier by blazing a trail for others to follow - that's why the phrase 'Evoque-rivalling' has been applied to myriad production cars, concepts and product plans across Frankfurt's halls this year.
Closest in size to the Evoque and potentially its closest rival is the Mercedes-Benz GLA that's due on sale in December. It's the clear leader in the race to be second, as it's the only one you'll be able to buy any time soon.
BMW's X4 is in testing, but I reckon it lacks the visual bite to take a chunk from the Evoque (which is the same reason the VW Tiguan and Audi Q3 aren't at the races either in my book). The Porsche Macan is also currently being put through its pre-production paces; it mightn't sport the most adventurous design, but a Porsche has to look like a Porsche.