Here’s the All-New, Second-Generation Range Rover Evoque
Land Rover has launched the all-new, second-generation Range Rover Evoque, “with cutting-edge technology–designed, engineered and manufactured in Britain” that offers a lot of tech-firsts in its segment, like a virtual ‘transparent hood’ technology and “a rear-view mirror that turns into an HD screen displaying a camera feed of what’s behind the vehicle,” which is quite similar to something that’s also available in a Japanese midsize SUV that was launched early this year.
According to Jaguar Land Rover’s Executive Director for Product Engineering, Nick Rodgers, the only holdover from the previous-gen Evoque included in the all-new model are the door hinges. Everything else, from the new Premium Traverse Architecture Platform to the software behind the infotainment system that’s both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible, is brand-new.
Going back to the platform, Land Rover claims that it’s developed for electrification, with a 48-volt mild-hybrid available at launch and a plug-in hybrid model offered a year later. A first for Land Rover, the mild hybrid powertrain works by capturing energy that’s generated when the vehicle decelerates, using an engine-mounted belt-integrated starter generator that stores the energy in the under-floor battery. When the vehicle’s speed drops below 17 kph, the internal-combustion engine shuts off as the driver applies the brakes. When pulling away, the stored energy is redeployed to assist the engine under acceleration and reduce fuel consumption, resulting in a refined, quiet, and efficient drive in traffic heavy areas, in addition to efficiency savings.
While the all-new Evoque’s footprint is nearly identical to its predecessor, it offers more interior room as the longer wheelbase yields 20 mm extra rear kneeroom and cargo space is 10 percent larger at 591 liters, with space increasing to 1,383 liters when the 40:20:40 second-row seats are folded.
Up front, super-slim Matrix LED headlamps provide a more sophisticated front and rear lamp graphic while at the side, the flush door handles add to the smooth, sculpted aesthetic. While Land Rover claims that the burnished copper accents that flow from the bonnet line and front fender to the front doors “add to the unique appeal,” it looks a tad off and unnecessary, quite like the fake gills on the front doors of the current Range Rover.
Inside, the Evoque “integrates uncluttered surfaces and simple lines with carefully curated premium materials to create a luxurious, minimalist, digital cabin.” Technical textiles that make use recycled plastics are offered as premium alternatives to leather. The twin-touchscreen Touch Pro Duo system features new and faster software, front seats have 16-way seat controls, and cabin air ionization complements the increased interior space.
As mentioned, the Evoque has a “segment-first ‘ClearSight rear-view mirror’ that transforms into an HD video screen.” If rear visibility is compromised by passengers or bulky items, the driver simply flicks a switch on the underside of the mirror and a camera feed from the top of the car displays what is behind the vehicle in crisp high definition. The screen provides a wider (50-degree) field of vision and superior visibility in low light. The Evoque is also the first in the world to feature ‘Ground View technology,’ “which effectively 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“–a useful feature when negotiating difficult parking spaces, navigating high kerbs, or tackling rough terrain “and is the realization of the Transparent Bonnet technology previewed by Land Rover in 2014.”
At launch, joining the mild-hybrid as powertrain choices are four-cylinder Ingenium petrol and diesel engines, ranging from the entry-level, 148 hp and 380 Nm, front-wheel-drive turbodiesel variant to the range-topping, 296 hp and 400 Nm all-wheel-drive mild-hybrid. As mentioned again, an even more efficient plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will join the range next year, along with a three-cylinder Ingenium gasoline engine.
Of course, being a Range Rover, the Evoque “combines all-terrain capability with all-weather assurance,” with its all-wheel-drive capability complemented by the second-generation Active Driveline with Driveline Disconnect to enhance efficiency and Adaptive Dynamics to deliver the optimum balance of comfort and agility. It also has Terrain Response 2–technology first found on the full-size Range Rover–which automatically detects the surface being driven on and adjusts the set-up accordingly, and it can now wade through water up to 600 mm deep.