Range Rover's Newest SUV Swings Into the Bay Area

By Sajid Farooq
|  Tuesday, Aug 9, 2011  |  Updated 5:52 PM PDT
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Range Rover Introduces a Smaller, Greener SUV

The new Range Rover Evoque was in San Jose Tuesday meeting with potential clients.

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Leaner, greener and younger: the mantra of the newest member of the Range Rover family.

The new Evoque is still in production and will not hit the international market until October but Tuesday the Range Rover's little brother was in San Jose meeting with potential early adopters.

"This is for a little different audience," said Tim Scully, the Evoque product training specialist for Land Rover University. "A little more youthful audience."

The 2.0 liter, 240 horse power SUV is more in line with BMW's X3 or Audi's Q3 models than a traditional SUV.

Instead, with the Evoque, Range Rover is entering the Sport Activity Vehicle arena. A market Scully
says is growing quickly, as evidence by the smallest car maker in the country is developing an SAV.

But beyond shrinking the Range Rover -- there is still plenty of room for five adults -- the Evoque is
coming with a smaller ecological footprint than other SUVs.

The MPG on the Evoque, 19 city and 28 highway, are higher than the larger Ranger Rover, 13 city and 18 highway.

But the newest member of the Land Rover family also comes at a cheaper price -- ranging from $43,995 to $52,895 -- than its $70,000 counterpart.

But more than the gas mileage, Range Rover is touting the way the Evoque is made that makes the car green.

With a clientele willing to spend more than $40,000 on a car, the rising cost of fuel may not be the
greatest concern when purchasing a vehicle.

But combing improved mileage efficiency with a car made of 35 pounds of recycled plastic components and powered by an engine that only weighs 88 pounds for maximum efficiency, Range Rover is looking to break into the green chic community: Young people with money who want style while being environmentally responsible.

The lighter weight of the Evoque reduces its emissions. Range Rover says it has also adopted manufacturing practices that use fewer resources and it has started a CO2 offsetting program.

"To build a lightweight chassis, you have to do some incredible things," Scully said. "It is incredibly lightweight but incredibly strong at the same time."

Range Rover says by 2012 it wants to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25 percent, its waste to landfill by 25 percent and its water consumption by 10 percent.

About 95 percent of the Evoque is recyclable once the life of the SAV runs out. Scully pointed to things like the leather seats that wouldn't be able to be scrapped down and reused.

Despite Range Rover's attempt to create a more earth-friendly SUV, the company has not skimped on the design and the luxury it is known for.

The Evoque has a panoramic roof available, a sleekly designed interior equipped with comfortable leather seats and all the tech hook ups any Apple fan boy or girl would want, including the ability to stream Pandora through the stereo system.

And the car is fun to drive. It hits 0-60 in 7.6 seconds and has a smooth ride that unfortunately eludes many SUVs.

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