Range Rover is developing a coupe to go head-to-head with BMW’s X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE. Significantly, the new Range Rover coupe, codenamed L560, will be built using JLR’s car-focused D7a aluminum vehicle architecture, and not the off-road-oriented D7u architecture that underpins the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
Set to debut at the 2017 Geneva Show, the L560 is effectively a Range Rover version of the Jaguar F-Pace. Spy shots confirm a sleek and sporty vehicle with a dropping roofline, tapered rear end, and an aggressively-executed version of Range Rover’s trademark nose. Lower and longer than the F-Pace, the eye-catching crossover coupé will be positioned closer to the Range Rover Sport than the Evoque.
The D7a architecture confirms that the L560 is not a classic SUV but more of a four-door coupe crossover. JLR insiders claim the L560 will be a real driver´s car with a strong on-road focus and that a high-performance SVR version is in the product plan. One has referred to it as Road Rover, but another name that keeps popping up is Velar, used during the development of the original Range Rover to disguise prototype vehicles and believed to be derived from the Italian word for veil or cover, velare. Another meaning: V Eight LAnd Rover.
While Jaguar has moved into SUV territory with the F-Pace, Land Rover is ironically about to put a stronger emphasis on all-round ability and all-weather vehicle dynamics.
SIDEBAR: DEFENDER FOR THE FAITHFUL
Replacement for Land Rover’s icon due 2018
Landie fans, brace yourselves for a shock: The new Defender, due 2018, abandons its traditional alloy body on iron frame in favor of a brand-new unibody fabricated almost entirely from aluminum.
Inspired by the DC100 concepts, the successor to the iconic go-anywhere Land Rover will be a lighter, stiffer, and dimensionally more flexible vehicle than the old Defender. Although all derivatives share fixed hardpoints, Land Rover will offer a choice of axles, tires, transmissions, and suspension calibrations to meet a wide range of customer requirements.
Engines will be 2.0-liter I-4 gas and diesel, plus JLR’s forthcoming 3.0-liter gas and diesel I-6. All will be turbocharged, with some even featuring an additional electric charger for an extra helping of boost.
The new Defender will initially be available with two wheelbase options and a variety of trim levels, from retro-style Heritage, to ultra-lux Autobiography. The first models to hit the showrooms will be a four-door, long wheelbase hardtop, and a short wheelbase two-door in hard- and softtop forms.
Codenamed L851, the new Defender will be built in JLR’s recently-announced Slovakia plant at a target rate of 100,000 units per year, though low-volume production is expected to commence in the UK to eliminate early quality glitches.