Land Rover is going to be making a huge expansion to its range very soon. It will be getting its Discover and Defender models ready for launch and possibly more will follow soon.
They have already doubled the size of their brand in just a few years with the Evoque and the long wheelbase models joining the full size model and Mk2 Range Sport. It is expected that there will be more in the future as well, but at the moment they are concentrating on the Discovery and Defender.
The Land Rover Discovery is 25 years old this year and has always been a stand-alone model. However, things are now changing as the Discovery Sport model has just been launched to mean that there are now two model choices. The full sizes Discovery will also change today to a fifth generation model which was previewed as the Discovery Vision concept. The small Evoque is the biggest change from their original model but it will be the Discovery that will have a more adventurous appearance even than the Discovery Sport according to Gerry McGovern; Design director and Chief creative operator at Land Rover. He spoke in detail about the new models as well as his plans for the future which seem extremely exciting.
The Discovery Sport is pretty much a replacement for the Freelander and this leads to there being three families within the brand; the Range Rover, Discovery and Defender. McGovern explained that Range Rover is about luxury whereas the Discovery is for leisure and the Defenders are dual purpose. McGovern explained that there would be more Discovery’s starting with a sport model and there will also be a new generation of Defenders.
It may be hard to see though what the differences are between the luxury and leisure models. McGovern did explain that there will be more premium execution from the Discovery family and this will mean that it will be more like a Range Rover and more appealing. He said that the Discover 3, which was rather utilitarian, was polarizing but when it had a facelift and turned in to the Discovery 4 it was more luxurious and more popular, which is obviously something that theyw ill be looking to capitalise on.
The Discoveries will be more versatile than the Range Rover though with seven seats and lots of storage space as well as more practical features, compared to the Range Rover which will only have five seats and the Range Rover Sport which could be a 5+2 at a push. The new full size Discovery will be arriving soon and McGovern has revealed that it will be more radical than the Evoque was and not what you would expect from Range Rover.
It is thought that this will be a new model that will be somewhere between the Evoque and Range Sport and will be twinned up with the first SUV from Jaguar however, McGovern has explained that they will also be looking to expand in to other markets as well.
McGovern also explained more about the new Defenders. He said that they will help to stretch out the brand. He explained that although the Discovery brand is getting closer to Range Rover the Defenders will help to make it clear how all three families are different. He said they are probably the closest to the original Land Rover Heartland but they are still a relevant part of the collection.
McGovern also has concerns about the utilitarian look of the Range Rovers and Discoveries and that this might put off some buyers. This is why there is a new look with the Defender being linked to the original still with a utilitarian feel but with a difference. He also said that the car is very durable in that you can work them hard and they will still take a lot more pushing and so can be extremely reliable and hard working.
There will be different Defenders in the range. Land Rover will hope to sell over 70,000 units each year and so they will need to appeal to the traditional Land Rover buyers. McGovern explained that they need to make sure that the company gets back in sales what they have invested. With different appeal with regards to size of vehicle across the world, this means that they have to be able to satisfy everyone. As the Middle East market for big SUVs is not reflected all over the rest of the world.
The styling will not be that retro and McGovern explained that it is time to do something new. He said that it needs to be special and radical in design and if people will like it, they will forget about what they had before. This may seem like a risk, but always sticking with the same traditional designs can be a risk as well. They obviously think that it is time for something new and to shake things up a bit.
McGovern even admits that he is open minded with regards to selling vehicles that are not SUV’s . He explained that while Porsche and Bentley started with sports cars they have expanded to saloons and SUVs and so it is not something that their brand could not do in reverse. He admits that some people may feel that should be left to Jaguar but he explains that with such a big brand difference there would be the possibility in doing something luxurious that was lower and on-road biased and be fast but with qualities expected of Land Rover. This could be something worth looking out for!