Land Rover mulls over range expansion
Land Rover is considering expanding its range of 4x4s with a new compact model to rival similar models from its premium German rivals, such as the Mercedes GLA and BMW X1, Car Dealer magazine reports.
Speaking to the industry title at the launch of the new Discovery Sport, Land Rover programme director Paul Cleaver admitted there was room for a hatchback-sized off-roader in its range.
"There are so many prototypes running around Gaydon [Land Rover HQ] these days – there are more than I have ever seen before," he said.
"The Discovery Sport is just the start of the Discovery 'pillar' of the business and all will become clear as to why we called it that in the future."
Currently lacking a platform suitable to create such a model, Land Rover has lagged behind the competition, which has stolen a march in this popular new area of the new car market. However, the brand hasn't ruled out sharing technology with another carmaker to produce the new vehicle.
Cleaver continued: "There is definitely a market for it. No other manufacturer is doing it well."
Land Rover is working on a replacement for its iconic Defender, a model which is due to go out of production next year. However, its popularity means the time of its demise is still being debated.
"We've been here before," said Cleaver. "Who knows if it will be the last year – it could still go on."
Such is the weight of expectation on an all-new version, that Cleaver is under no illusion of what is expected.
He continued: "It must be the absolute best we can do. It needs to stick clearly to the brand principals of that car and we know we have to do a very good job of it."