Rumours are popping up in the cybergarage that Jaguar Land Rover is looking at an even smaller SUV than the Evoque and Freelander, as a new entry-level offering in what is internally referred to as the company's 'leisure range’ - the Freelander and Discovery.
Apparently, the Defenders are the utility range and the Range Rovers (Evoque included), the luxury models.
This, according to Inside Line, is all part of an ambitious plan to introduce 40 new Land Rover models over the next five years, including a 'stretched' Evoque, possibly with a third row of seats.
The new 'sub-Freelander' model, which would be the smallest vehicle in Land Rover's range - not much bigger than the original Series 1 of the 1940s - would lead a move towards more pizzazz in Freelander/Discovery styling, aiming at a less boxy, more sporty look with more car-like interiors.
MORE LUXURY AND SMOOTHER STYLING
Which the bench racers in the IOL cybergarage find amusing, given that Chrysler has just begun turning its Jeep range around to make them more Jeep-like - although, to be fair, the increased luxury level and smoother styling of the Disco 4 seems to have struck a chord with customers, that’s been reflected in improved sales.
Nevertheless, the new mini-Landy is still a long way down the road, according to Inside Line, and not even the most basic parameters have been decided yet.
At a guess, look for something more crossover than cross-country, possibly built around Jaguar Land Rover's brilliant new 2.2-litre turbodiesel, with all-wheel drive available only on the top-of-the-range models - rather like the Mini Countryman, although possibly a littler beefier.
It would need to be, to carry a Land Rover badge with any credibility.