Tell Us: Should Land Rover Build a Sportier Range Rover Evoque?

Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern says the company could build an “overtly sporty” version of the Range Rover Evoque crossover — but is such a model necessary? In an interview with Auto Express, McGovern revealed that Land Rover might consider building a variant called the Evoque Sport.

“What’s so right about the [Evoque] is it has what I call killer proportions,” McGovern told AE. “For the moment, we’re looking at the [convertible] and special editions — we could do a more overtly sporty one, for example.”

A sportier Evoque would need a more powerful engine, and could potentially use an upgraded version of the current turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. That Ford-based engine could be tuned for more than its current 240 hp in a fast Evoque, given that the 2.0-liter turbo is rated for 252 hp in the upcoming 2013 Ford Focus ST. AE also posits that Land Rover could retune the 2.2-liter turbodiesel inline-four available in European Evoque models, which currently tops out at 190 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

The company claims the Range Rover Evoque will reach 60 mph in 7.1 seconds with the 240-hp gas engine and 8.0 seconds with the 190-hp diesel.

In addition to the engine upgrades, an Evoque Sport would reportedly ride 0.4 inch lower than the regular version, and would have bigger brakes, a more aerodynamic body kit, and bigger wheels with more aggressive tires.

It remains to be seen whether Land Rover actually will choose to launch a sporty Evoque variant. For one, the company is currently working to bring the Evoque convertible to reality. It has been shown in concept form at the Geneva, New York, and Beijing auto shows, and is almost certainly headed to production.

“The Range Rover Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible,” McGovern said at the New York auto show in April.

Land Rover would also have to consider whether a performance version of the Evoque would step on the toes of an existing sporty SUV: the Range Rover Sport. Range Rover Sport HSE has a 5.0-liter V-8 with 375 hp and 375 lb-ft, and can complete the 0-to-60-mph sprint in a claimed 7.2 seconds; the Sport Supercharged has a supercharged version of that engine with 510 hp and 461 lb-ft, and manages 60 mph in a claimed 5.9 seconds. At a claimed 7.2 seconds to the benchmark, the 240-hp Evoque isn’t far behind the existing “fast” Land Rover models.

So, should Land Rover expand into another niche by building a faster, sportier version of the Range Rover Evoque? Is there a valid reason for such a model, or would it simply be too similar to the existing Range Rover Sport Supercharged? Have your say by way of the comments section below.

Source: Auto Express