Land Rover may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of racing, but the British off-road marque has been known to send some of its machinery off to the rally raid circuit – usually prepared by Bowler and based on the evergreen Defender. What we have here, however, seems different for a few reasons.
For one, it’s based on (or at least wearing the bodywork of) the Range Rover Evoque, a considerably more – shall we say, delicate vehicle than the all-conquering, long-serving Defender. For another, it’s reportedly surfaced in the form of renderings submitted to a patent office in China.
What we appear to be looking at is a three-door Evoque, jacked up with an upgraded suspension, underbody protection, a roof-mounted hood scoop, extra air vents, big mud flaps and road-going wheels (which could just be a placeholder). The air scoop suggests that the engine is mounted in the back like on a rally machine, with deep vents in the hood to channel air through where the engine would otherwise be.
If we are indeed looking at a street-legal vehicle to be offered by Land Rover (or anyone else) to buyers in China (or anywhere else), it’s sure to be one heck of a beast, but we wouldn’t hold our breath for a production application, this baby looks like it’s ready to wear some numbers on its doors.
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Report: Range Rover Evoque rally machine surfaces in Chinese patent drawings