She had the title of Creative Design Executive, and I had imagined her sitting in design meetings, talking to engineers, overseeing road tests and liaising with suppliers. But Victoria’s input was apparently restricted to making such vital decisions as which one of two alternative colours should be used for stitching. She was “consulted” the same way I often “consult” The Companion: give him a restricted range of decisions to make, so they happen quickly and do not radically change the way I wanted things to work out in the first place. The honour – if that’s the word – of being the car’s actual designer goes to Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s design director.
Now I’ve digested this minor bombshell, I consider this new information to be a shame, and an inconvenient truth. One of my favourite lines about the Evoque is that it looks like someone – I like to imagine it was Victoria herself – picked up the clay model from the designer’s desk and dropped it on its roof, and they put this squashed clay model into production. It’s the only reason I can think of for why it looks like it does.
But no, it’s a deliberate design and had nothing to do with Victoria, which is disappointing on both counts. She’d kept it quiet though. I suppose we could call it Victoria’s secret.