The Land Rover and Range Rover model line-ups have come a long way from their origins as rough-and-tumble off-roaders – in fact, the new Range Rover Velar is the most road-biased vehicle the company has ever produced. That could be about to change though, with the launch of a new "Road Rover".
Autocar reports that Land Rover's first non-SUV will be a luxurious rival for cars like the Mercedes S-Class, and could share a platform with the next Jaguar XJ. Reports suggest it will take the form of an all-electric tourer, tuned for an accomplished drive on road, but with "some all-terrain capability".
The prospect of a luxury limousine capable of tackling the rough stuff isn't a new one – after all, that's been the Range Rover's remit for decades. However, it's suggested the Road Rover will spin off into a range all of its own – giving Land Rover its own selection of car-like vehicles.
The idea of a Road Rover isn't a new one, however. In fact, it's a name that dates back to the beginning of the 1950s, when a vehicle to bridge the gap between Rover's road cars and the original Land Rover was proposed.
The concept was put to bed shortly after, but was revised in the 1960s into a three-door estate, which then became the original Range Rover.
Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern doesn't appear averse to the idea. In a 2015 interview with Director magazine, he said: "By 2020, there's going to be 22 million SUV-type vehicles sold globally. So that's a massive market. We're asking: what are the products we could be creating that don't actually exist yet – like the Evoque, which we didn't have in our portfolio before."
The new Road Rover model could debut at the 2019 Los Angeles Motor Show, Autocar suggests, with sales starting soon after. That would tally with the planned launch date for the new Jaguar XJ with which the Road Rover could share a platform.