's Great British Cars – Range Rover Evoque

Mon 17th Sep 2018

Great Britain, great cars. The UK motor industry is respected the world over, and though many of the vehicles are actually owned by foreign manufacturers, there can be no doubting of the fantastic heritage of the British motor.

To celebrate Britain’s famous history is launching a series looking back on some of the most famous vehicles the UK has ever seen.

Range Rover Evoque
When you’ve built your reputation designing some of the sexiest sports supercars of a generation for companies such as Lotus, the prospect of finding new ways to make a Land Rover SUV look more than the sum of its part is quite a challenge. So when Land Rover’s design head, Julian Thompson sketched out some ‘out there’ designs, mixing in some of his Lotus Elise with the more standard Land Rover, he must never have expected those same drawings to result in one of the most iconic car designs of the last 10 years?

Land Rover bosses liked what they saw of Thompson’s designs, and in 2008 we saw a glimpse of a very bright SUV future with the 2008 LRX concept. That vision soon turned to a production reality when the team and Land Rover decided that though the Elise inspired SUV was a little too flashy for the Land Rover, there was no such issues with Range Rover branding and by the time the new Range Rover Evoque, complete with luxurious interior, was unveiled they had 18,000 deposits.

After just one year on showroom floors the Evoque was the ‘must have’ car for those who could afford it. 80,000 had been sold and there was a waiting list as long as the Thames.

On arrival the Evoque came with two very different models, the five-door Evoque and the three-door Evoque Coupe, later the Convertible Evoque. The four different trim levels of the car told you all you needed to know about its target market - ‘Pure’, ‘Prestige’, ‘Pure Plus’ and ‘Dynamic’. With each style aimed at a different demographic of driver.

The production of the Evoque owes much to a British government grant, which was handed out to Land Rover in 2009, on the proviso that the luxury SUV would be built at JLR’s Halewood facility in Liverpool.

Sales have remained strong since launch, and the critics too are happy with the finished product. In 2011 it won the Auto Express Car of the Year, the Top Gear Car of the Year, SUV of the Year and was also ‘Jeremy’s Car of the Year’. High praise indeed.

Years of manufacture: 2011-present 
Price when new: £27,995 
Price now: £30,760
Engine: 1,999cc 4cyl diesel, 148bhp
Top speed: 113mph