All-new Range Rover Evoque is one smooth operator
Whitley, England - The original Evoque that hit the scene eight years ago wowed the world with a daring design that attracted a far more youthful clientele to the Range Rover brand.
Suddenly the so-called Chelsea Tractor had some 21st century chic.
Then came the Velar, which bridged the gap between the Evoque and the larger, more traditional Rangies, while standing out with its incredibly smooth surfaces.
Now there’s an all-new Evoque, looking very much like a logical evolution of the original, complete with the obligatory rising waistline and sloping roof, but with a great deal of that smooth Velar style thrown in - note the pop-out door handles, Matrix LED headlights and the horizontal taillamp arrangement stretching across the tailgate.
South Africans don’t have much of a wait, with the first units scheduled to reach our shores in early 2019, and Land Rover has already opened the local configurator, although pricing has yet to be announced.
Those Velar vibes are very much present on the inside too, where the Evoque inherits the twin-touchscreen Touch Pro Duo electronic interface, which gives you a separate lower screen for the climate control functions.
Like the new Mercedes A-Class and BMW 3 Series, the Evoque offers an ‘onboard butler’ of sorts, which uses artificial intelligence algorithms to learn the driver’s preferences.
It can also be specified with the ‘ClearSight’ rear-view mirror that can transform into an HD video screen - linked to rear cameras - at the touch of a button, something that will come in handy when you’ve packed your luggage to the roof.
Another nifty feature - and world first for that matter - is the Ground View technology that uses cameras to show you what’s beneath the front end of the vehicle. While it’s not an actual projection like the Transparent Bonnet technology that was previewed in 2014, it does display a useful ‘invisible bonnet’ rendering on the car’s central screen.
Also furthering its case off the beaten track is a 212mm ground clearance, all-wheel-drive and the second-generation Terrain Response system, while the water wading height has been increased by 100mm to 600mm, something that most buyers will no doubt only come to appreciate during urban flash floods.
Cabin space has been increased too, despite the Evoque having a similar footprint to its predecessor, while the 591 litre boot is 10 percent bigger. You can thank improved packaging for all that, with the Evoque shifting onto an all-new mixed-material platform.
Two engines from launch
The South African website lists two engines as being available from launch, both 2-litre turbocharged Ingenium units in the form of a 132kW diesel and 183kW petrol. UK customers can also opt for a 110kW diesel as well as 147kW and 221kW petrol units, while a three-cylinder petrol will be added to the range at a later stage. As yet it’s unclear whether any of the aforementioned engines will be added to the local mix.
The Evoque will also be available with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that captures energy during deceleration and stores it in an underfloor battery, while a plug-in hybrid variant will be announced at a later stage.