The world is rapidly changing for automakers and nowhere is that more obvious than in the once-huge SUV segment. Sales peaked at more than 3 million in the U.S. a decade or so back and have been sliding ever since. Only a handful of models continue to exist in the classic, truck-based SUV segment. But don’t think utes are going away.
Certainly not the range-topping Range Rover which is making its formal public debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show. The flagship of the British Land Rover, the fourth-generation Range Rover nonetheless has adapted to rapidly changing market realities. Among other things, it’s nearly a half-ton lighter than the outgoing model and by next year buyers in many markets will be able to order one with an all-new plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
Nonetheless, Land Rover is eyeing big changes – especially in the wake of the successful launch of its Range Rover Evoque last year. The maker’s first crossover-based model is now its biggest seller, outperforming even the most optimistic expectations for the downsized CUV.