Overall mass is pegged to about 3750 pounds for a 4x4. In Europe, super-economy versions will be available with a 2.2-liter 150-hp turbodiesel, manual trans, idle-stop and (shock!) front-drive.

At 171.3 inches long, 63.1 inches high, the Evoque is 17 inches shorter than the Range Rover Sport V8, 7.1 inches lower, and a staggering 1700 pounds lighter.

Range Rover remains serious about off-roading, despite the positioning of the Evoque, and claims it will be class-leading -- though this presumably means the crossover class rather than SUV. The AWD system deploys an electronically controlled Haldex center diff to split the torque front-rear as appropriate. The vehicle has Terrain Response to recalibrate parameters such as traction control, throttle and gearchange maps, and steering weight. There is also a Dynamic road setting, which puts the optional Magnaride dampers into a sterner program and changes the color of the instruments and ambient cabin illumination.

The interior, which is strictly four-seat, is lavishly furnished. Optional spec even runs to soft stitched leather to gift-wrap the dash and door casings. The visible metallic surfaces are actual metal, and the ambient lighting keeps up with the class leaders on perceived quality. The flavor of the LRX's cabin has come through, though the design is more practical. It is ever thus with concepts heading for production: The interior is always the part that's watered down the most.

The electrical architecture is shared with Jaguar Land Rover's top-end models, which brings the option of the 8-inch dualview center screen. It uses polarization to allow the driver to see one image - trip computer or navigation -- while the passenger sees another, such as a DVD movie. A 1200-watt, 17-speaker stereo system also is on the options list. Driver aids include self-parking (enabled by the electric PAS) and surround cameras.

Clearly this is a departure for the British manufacturer: a lot more light-footed than the Range Rovers, a lot less utility than the Land Rovers. But that's the point. The company is sure it will open new markets and end up as its biggest-selling model of all.