LONDON -- Land Rover may introduce a new model for its Range Rover lineup based on parent Jaguar Land Rover's new aluminum platform.
The new Range Rover would fill a gap between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, a source familiar with the plan said.
Jaguar Land Rover announced its new modular aluminum platform at the Frankfurt auto show in September and said it would form the basis of a new Jaguar sedan due in 2015 that will challenge the BMW 3-series and 5-series.
The company also showed the Jaguar C-X17 crossover concept that is based on the platform, but declined to say whether it would be built.
The new Range Rover is the key to making the platform profitable, according to analyst Max Warburton at Bernstein Research. "This will have higher pricing, higher volumes and higher contribution margins than any of the Jaguar variants," Warburton wrote in a recent report on JLR. "We believe JLR product planners expect the L560 [new Range Rover model] to sell up to 80,000 units, making it the most profitable variant by far."
Jaguar Land Rover is investing 1.5 billion pounds (1.79 billion euros) to develop the new platform.
Warburton predicts that the new Range Rover will be built alongside a production version of the Jaguar crossover concept on the same platform. The Jaguar crossover concept shown at Frankfurt measured 4700mm (185 inches) long, pitching it against the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 in terms of size.
The source described the styling of the new Range Rover as "car-like on steroids."
The lightweight platform and JLR's new four-cylinder Hotfire engines will add to the appeal, according to Warburton. "The new Range Rover will be lighter and more efficient than any Land Rover-branded product that has gone before," he said. He predicted prices will match those of the Discovery large SUV, which starts at 38,850 pounds (45,595 euros) in the UK.