Remember 'Road Rover'? It Hasn't Gone Away

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
remember 8216 road rover it hasnt gone away

Just over two years ago, a tentative product name discovered deep within Jaguar Land Rover’s internal communications captured the eye — and stimulated the fertile imaginations — of auto journos everywhere. “Road Rover” was a name JLR was using to describe a possible future vehicle; a year later, the automaker moved to trademark the name for safekeeping.

Since then, JLR has grappled with financial pain born of the decline of both diesel propulsion and the sedan bodystyle, choosing to fight market trends by shoring up its Land Rover division with new or updated utility vehicles, returning the Defender nameplate to the top of the line, and cutting build configurations of its Jaguar passenger cars. Parent company Tata Motors wants results, and it wants them in a hurry.

One thing not lost to the automaker’s evolving product strategy is Road Rover. There’s more news on that front.

Autocar, which first broke the Road Rover story, has added to earlier claims that the vehicle would boast some measure of off-road capability and make an appearance in 2020. It now seems the Road Rover, clearly destined for the Range Rover family, will share architecture with the next-generation Jaguar XJ.

Jag’s long-running XJ bit the dust amid falling sales earlier this year, with the brand vowing to return it in an entirely new form. A liftback bodystyle is expected, as is an all-electric powertrain. (Europe’s all about top-end executive EVs these days, and Jag would arguably be foolish to not match the Germans at their game.) This means the Road Rover, which JLR describes in documents as a “medium SUV,” will dispense with internal combustion powerplants.

There’s plenty of those to be had in existing Land Rovers, as well as the upcoming, off-road focused Defender, anyway. The timing here is interesting. With the Defender returning to recapture the title of well-bred off-road king, a green model that concerns itself with on-road manners and futuristic tech would compliment the lineup. It would also provide JLR with an additional vehicle, under an additional badge, to boost scale and further its green ambitions.

Borrowing the Jag’s Modular Longitudinal Platform (MLA) platform, battery pack, and motors, the Road Rover is believed to slot between the Range Rover Velar and Evoque in terms of footprint, boasting a chopped roofline and more aerodynamic front end than its siblings. Its ground clearance would also fall short of Land Rover’s more rugged offerings, though perhaps not at all times.

Expect to see this pavement-happy creature slink towards customers in late 2021, Autocar states.

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

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2 of 7 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Oct 22, 2019

    Road Rover, Road Rover, let this decade be over.

  • Redapple Redapple on Oct 23, 2019

    Utter garbage. I do not wish them well. My new LR4 was endlessly in the shop. A GGM Tahoe would have been much better. Save your pennies peeps. The crash is coming and you will be flattened. Once interest rates revert to historic norms. Ouch !!!!

  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.
  • William I'm a big fan of 70s Lincolns. I really liked the 1980s Mark Vl. I thought it was very classy, and I never thought of it as a restyled Town Car. I did own a 1990 LSC, it was black over black leather interior. I loved the LSC as soon as they were introduced. I loved the sound of the duel exhaust, I thought it fit the car perfectly. I never had any problems with it. The 5.0 is a great engine, and never had any issues with the air suspension system. It had the the analog dash and I made good use of the message center. I highly recommend this Mark. The black paint and interior fit the car and me perfectly.