Land Rover takes 6,500 Evoque orders

The ‘baby’ Range Rover will go on sale in the UK in September, and interest in the three- and five-door SUV is high, according to brand director John Edwards.

“The Evoque is a very important model for us because it is going to attract a whole new set of customers to the brand," he said after revealing 6,500 people had already placed an order for the car, whose prices were announced earlier this week.

The new customers will predominantly live in urban areas thanks to the Evoque’s small dimensions.

It will be the smallest luxury SUV to ever bear the Range Rover badge and its two-wheel drive option and environmental credentials are expected to appeal to downsizers and city dwellers.

The Evoque delivers CO2 emissions of just 130g/km from its most frugal engine, representing savings in road tax over the larger Range Rover models.

However, the interior retains the Range Rover’s luxury, with leather upholstery and high levels of equipment offered in three distinct specification levels.

Edwards says there are another 100,000 ‘prospects’ interested in the Evoque and believes the launch of the third model in the Range Rover line up will lead Land Rover to its best ever sales year.

The launch of the new model also represents good news for UK industry. Production of the model has started at the Halewood plant on Merseyside and as a result, 1,500 jobs have been created to cope with demand.

Jaguar Land Rover has also revealed it will hire 1,000 new engineers and designers for its headquarters in Gaydon, West Midlands, as it anticipates a successful year for both Tata Motors-owned brands in 2011.