“Eight years ago, we created a new segment and the world followed. Now we have redefined what it means to be a luxury compact SUV,” said Finbar McFall, Global Marketing Director, JLR, on the world premiere of the new Range Rover Evoque; a ‘sophisticated evolution’ of the original by combining the Range Rover heritage with cutting-edge technology.
“This characterful vehicle combines refinement and fun to create that all-important emotional reaction that will turn heads and make people smile.” – Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer
The instantly-recognisable coupé-like silhouette of the original Evoque has been largely retained, typified by its “fast” roofline and rising waist. The enhancements are slight yet noticeable. The volume and proportions are amplified by its pronounced shoulders and powerful wheel arches. The latter in combination with the 21-inch wheels create a strong and dynamic attitude.
The new super-slim Matrix LED headlamps provide a more sophisticated front and rear lamp graphic. Flush door handles add to the smooth, sculpted aesthetic while weeping directional indicators create a purposeful signature. Optional R-Dynamic details and burnished copper accents add to its appeal.
The increased interior cabin space is designed “to be a calm and serene space.” It has uncluttered surfaces and simple lines featuring carefully curated premium materials that combine to create a luxurious, minimalist, digital cabin. Integrated into this space are technologies such as the twin touchscreen Touch Pro Duo system, featuring new, faster software, 16-way seat controls and cabin air ionisation. Offered as premium alternatives to leather are Technical textiles such as a Kvadrat wool blend and Dinamica suedecloth made recycled plastics, as well as Eucalyptus and Ultrafabrics. In addition to seat position, music and climate settings, steering column preferences can also be adjusted to maximise comfort.
Although the footprint is almost identical to the outgoing model, the new Evoque offers more interior space than before, thanks to Land Rover’s new mixed-material Premium Transverse Architecture. This has resulted in a longer wheelbase which in turn means 20 millimetres of extra rear legroom as well as an increase in storage space. A larger glove box and centre cubby can now fit tablets, handbags and bottles with ease. The luggage space is 10 per cent larger and wider at 591 litres and can easily accommodate a folded pram or set of golf clubs. The storage space can be further increased to 1,383 litres when the flexible 40:20:40 second-row seats are folded.
The new architecture has been developed primarily for electrification, with a 48-volt mild-hybrid available at launch and a plug-in hybrid model to be offered towards the end of next year. The new Evoque is the first Land Rover to offer a mild hybrid powertrain. Available across the range of four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines, the hybrid harvests energy during deceleration which is then used to enhance acceleration and reduce fuel consumption.
The technological enhancements include the second-generation Active Driveline with Driveline Disconnect which enhances efficiency; Adaptive Dynamics for optimising the balance between comfort and agility; Terrain Response 2 automatically detects the surface being driven on and adjusts the set-up accordingly which means the new Evoque can now wade through water up to 600mm.
Other technologies making their debut on the new Evoque include the ‘ClearSight rear-view mirror’ which transforms into an HD video screen if rear visibility is compromised by passengers or bulky items, and provides a wider 50-degree field of vision and superior visibility in low light. The ‘Ground View’ technology, which makes the bonnet invisible by projecting camera imagery onto the upper touchscreen to show the driver a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle. This is useful when negotiating difficult parking spaces, navigating high city centre kerbs or tackling rough terrain. ‘Smart Settings’ uses artificial intelligence algorithms to learn the driver’s preference and acts as an onboard butler.
As part of the new Evoque’s launch program, Land Rover also collaborated with a number of fashion and technology brands that are available through select retail outlets. Ashley Williams designed a specially commissioned dress crafted using the same suedecloth textile featured on the Evoque’s interior. British luxury brand Mulberry has created a Weekender bag collection quilted with the car’s grille pattern and using the same sustainably-sourced Eucalyptus material also featured on the car’s interior. Master & Dynamic has created wireless Bluetooth earphones made from handcrafted acetate. They feature bespoke Evoque grille patterns in copper and silver accents and housed in a polished stainless-steel wireless charging case.
Then there is the Range Rover Evoque Zenith watch, a 200-piece limited edition co-developed by designers and engineers from both entities. From the colour to its design, the watch draws inspiration from the new Evoque.
“When Range Rover Evoque made its debut back in 2010, it transformed the world of compact SUVs,” says Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer, “and the new model is set to continue that remarkable journey.” Having sold over 770,000 units and having accumulated more than 217 international awards thus far, one would be hard-pressed to disagree.