Range Rover Evoque showcased in New York

British luxury SUV builder Land Rover classes the US as its biggest market for the Range Rover sub-brand after sales increased by 22 per cent in the past 12 months.

Both three-door coupe and five-door versions of the smallest ever Range Rover appeared at the motor show, but unlike the UK market all models in the US will be offered in four-wheel drive configuration only.

Three ‘design themes’ will be offered with the models, including the sub-£30,000 ‘Pure’ model, more upmarket Prestige and the range-topping Dynamic, which includes several cosmetic upgrades inside and out.

A single engine will be available for US customers in the shape of a 237Ps 2.0-litre Si4 turbocharged petrol engine with direct fuel injection.

In the UK, two-wheel drive options will be available alongside the more traditional four-wheel drive models. The engine range will be extended to include a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine developing 187bhp and an entry-level 2.2-litre diesel offering 148g/km and 58mpg when specified in two-wheel drive.

The showcase in the US follows a successful appearance at the Shanghai Motor Show in China, where more than 1,000 customers placed pre-orders before they had actually seen the Evoque and before official prices had been announced.

The smallest and lightest Land Rover ever made is expected to enjoy similar success in the UK, where it has moved away from Land Rover’s off-road roots to deliver a more road-based, city car.

However, four-wheel drive versions will still feature Land Rover’s celebrated Terrain Response system for off-roading when necessary.

In the UK, the Range Rover Evoque will start from less than £30,000 when it goes on sale in November.

The Evoque was joined at the New York and Shanghai shows by the 2012 Model Year Range Rover and the most expensive and luxurious Range Rover ever made, the Autobiography Ultimate Edition.