New Range Rover Evoque: British-built electrified mini-Velar
Range Rover has revealed the second generation of one of the most premium of all compact SUVs: the Evoque. The first model was launched in 2010 and was an instant hit worldwide, exceeding its makes expectations. However, with diesel being booed and the competition having toughened, JLR needed to reinvent the Evoque, raise the bar and adopt batteries to assist the combustion engines.
Inspired by Velar
Which is exactly what it did. The new Evoque looks like a mini-Velar, from which it inherits the pop-out door handles, but it still bears a strong resemblance to its predecessor. Every part of the new model is new – except for the door hinges. The wheelbase increased by 2.1 cm for extra legroom in the back. The boot increased to 591 litres.
On the inside, the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system is carried over from other Range Rovers, and like its bigger brothers the Evoque receives a fully digital dashboard. The materials are top notch and those who no longer want leather can now opt for premium suede cloth for the upholstery made from recycled bottles.
Mild and plug-in hybrid
The new baby Range is the first of the family to adopt a 48V-battery to assist the combustion engine to become a mild hybrid (MHEV). This means the electric motor – which takes the shape of a belt-driven starter-alternator. At speeds below 17 km/h the ICE is switched off as soon as the driver touches the brake pedal to regenerate energy. When he re-accelerates, the stored energy is released to assist the combustion engine and thereby save on fuel.
JLR also promises a plug-in hybrid with a much bigger battery, but we will have to wait another year to see it in the showroom. The PHEV model will be powered by JLR’s first three-cylinder petrol engine. The non-PHEV models will either have three or four cylinders from the Ingenium family.
King of the off-road
In case you were wondering: the Evoque may be posh, it still doesn’t mind getting its hands dirty in some dusty or muddy terrain – or even in 60-cm deep water. The Terrain Response 2 system also offers a mode that automatically assess the surface to adapt the way engine torque is distributed and enhance grip.
Advanced camera technology enables the driver to see virtually through the bonnet, so that rocks just in front and partially below the car are visualised on the top infotainment screen. The rear view mirror can display the images made by the camera in the lid of the boot - very handy when the rearward view is blocked by passengers or bulky luggage.
JLR said it has invested £1bn in the design, development, engineering and production of the Evoque. A further £4bn of contracts with British suppliers have been placed for components, underlining JLR's committment to British manufacturing.