How many models do you think Land Rover should or should produce--five, perhaps? Ten? More? A new report suggests that LR bosses will stretch the company's current platforms and model lines to their extremes and puff the lineup to a staggering 16 models.
Autocar delivered the inside scoop with a bold prediction: Land Rover's current slate of SUVs--Evoque, Defender, Freelander/LR2, Discovery/LR4, Range Rover Sport, and Range Rover--could spawn enough variants in their respective new generations to satisfy any customer. The emphasis goes on the words "any customer," naturally, because Land Rover just might be looking to double sales by the end of the decade to an Autocar-estimated 600,000 units a year worldwide.
The changes start, predictably, at the top: the new Range Rover (which we recently tested) is nearly ready to hit the showroom floor, and its platform will underpin the smaller Range Rover sport that should arrive some time next year. A long-wheelbase version (and/or the rumored luxury flagship version) may follow later…although that's still hazy.
As we previously reported, Land Rover will craft a gaggle of Evoque variants in hopes of capitalizing on the original Evoque SUV's success. Look for the Evoque convertible we've already seen to make it to production, as will a compact three-door version that will slot below the current standard-wheelbase three-door model. Also look for a seven-passenger "Evoque XL," which would look dramatically different from a seven-seat Range Rover (and slot below it in price) while delivering much of the same convenience.
The LR2 (still called the Freelander in international markets) will soldier on with a small, medium, and large-sized version as well: we hear the "baby" Freelander will take a more mass-market approach to the same platform as the baby Evoque, while the five-seat Freelander/LR2 will (hopefully) duke it out against the Audi Q5. There'll be a seven-seat LR2 as well.
The LR4, meanwhile, will be split into two versions: standard, and luxury. Both will be built on the aluminum alloy platform that underpins the Range Rover and RR Sport (understandable, as the LR4 and RR Sport presently share a platform), but the luxury Discovery/LR4 will take the crown of the flagship crossover and direct its competitive efforts at the BMW X5.
That leaves one more nameplate, the Defender. The Defender's upgrades are probably the most intriguing of all the Land Rover brand, as LR bosses are planning five Defender variants. The first is pretty familiar--it's the current Defender, which will probably soldier on for international markets even when it falls out of style (or out of date) in markets like the UK. The second is the DC100, a compact Defender runabout likely following the DC100 concept we saw last year. The third, fourth, and fifth are new Defenders: one with a standard wheelbase and five seats, one with a long wheelbase and seven seats, and one with--get this--four doors and a pickup bed.
With all this talk of new cars, we want to know: is this a good thing for the classic British brand, or is it overkill? Let us know what you think.