What’s next for the Range Rover brand?

Clearly Jaguar Land Rover have never heard the phrase ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Rather than resting on their considerable laurels, the enterprising 4×4 makers are already hinting that they may be expanding their range even further.

Speaking to Auto Express prior to the unveiling of the new Range Rover Velar, the coupe SUV which famously comes with the option of having Vegetarian-friendly fabric, Jaguar LandRover CEO Dr Ralf Speth responded to a question about whether any more Range Rover models could be in the works.

“If you take the chess board” he said, “with all the segments and the positioning, you will see a lot of the space is still white. We will not try to conquer all of these spaces because we are too small. We have to do it step by step. And because of this, it is so important that this step is a success.”

The Range Rover Velar is the fourth model in the Range Rover family, a sleek, sporty mid-size SUV that fits in between the Sport and the Evoque. Whilst it’s still a very practical car, the Velar has obviously been designed for sheer, heart-stopping beauty – the kind of desirability that has you signing the cheque without thinking.

So, how might this particular black square influence the future direction of the Range Rover chess board? Does this suggest a different design focus, a prioritisation of desirability over practicality, or the start of a range of lower, smaller, more aerodynamic models?

Dr Speth’s colleague, Jeremy Hicks, gave a few clues in the Auto Express interview. “If you look at the chess board” he said, “what we have seen is the way bodystyle appetite has changed and a flight to premium. If you look at the overall market last year, it was up two per cent. But the area where we compete was double digits.”

Whatever is in store, it’s highly likely to be manufactured in the UK – Jaguar LandRover are already looking at ways to increase their production capacity despite currently operating with some room to spare.

We can’t wait to see what one of our favourite marques comes up with next, and in the meantime we have a strange urge to play chess.