The new model, due 2016, would fill the gap between the standard five-seater Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, but would be based on the next generation Evoque rather than the current one.
Autocar reports that the larger Evoque will use Jaguar’s new all-aluminium platform as seen in the C-X17 crossover concept. This signals the next generation’s intentions to save weight over the current model, despite the addition of over 300mm in length in the seven-seater version.
The aluminium structure also has significantly more torsional rigidity than the current platform, increasing the appeal for off roaders and handling enthusiasts alike. The new Evoque could also spawn the brand’s new four cylinder units which are currently being developed.
When it arrives, the baby Range Rover could become the smallest premium four wheel drive with a seven-seat option, opening another niche for the British off road brand. The company has also been targeting Rolls Royce and Bentley at the higher end of the market, with a long wheelbase Range Rover Vogue also scheduled for next year.
If you can’t wait until the larger Evoque launches though, Land Rover may have another small seven-seater solution – if you can wait until the end of next year. The next generation Freelander will be due then, and indications are that the brand’s entry level model will feature a seven-seat option, although will likely miss out on the aluminium structure of its premium Evoque sibling.