Spotlight: Range Rover Evoque
Beneath evolutionary styling, the second-generation Range Rover Evoque has plenty of new reasons for fleets to take note. By Martyn Collins.
The same but different
On first look, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the second-generation Evoque was a first-generation five-door with a Velar-style facelift. But you’d be wrong – the 2019 Evoque is all-new, sitting on a longer, mostly-steel platform called the Premium Transverse Architecture.
That extra length equals 20mm of additional knee room in the back, plus 10% extra luggage space – both curing issues with its predecessor. Land Rover also claims this bigger body is 13% stiffer than the outgoing car, improving the refinement and handling, but this was hard to assess on our 5mph off-road early drive route. On top of the extra interior space, the new Evoque’s simplified, more luxurious interior looks and feels every bit the downsized Velar.
Most Evoque owners probably won’t explore its off-road capability, but Land Rover claims its newcomer is even better on rough terrain than its predecessor. We were given a brief opportunity to try some of the new technology on a custom-built off-road course at its Central London reveal event.
Two systems really stand out. Clearsight Groundview uses cameras in the grille and mirrors to project a view on the touchscreen as if the front-end of the car was transparent – a useful feature when top-spec models are on 21-inch wheels. The Evoque can also display a live image from an aerial-mounted camera on its rear-view mirror, giving a clear view out of the back even when fully loaded with people and luggage.
Evoque goes electric
Land Rover’s new platform is designed for the full spectrum of electrification. Launch engines from next spring comprise three diesel and three petrol engines, and all are equipped with a nine-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive and economy-boosting 48-volt ‘mild hybrid’ technology, ranging from 149g/km CO2. The only Evoque without electrification is the two-wheel drive version of the 148bhp diesel, which comes in at 143g/km. A downsized fuel tank, 54 litres versus the standard 65, will also be able to improve economy.
The first plug-in hybrid Evoque will follow a year later, combining a new 197bhp three-cylinder petrol engine with a 105bhp electric motor. It’s a timely model, arriving just ahead of new company car tax bands for plug-ins.
The original Evoque was key in changing buyers’ perceptions of Land Rover. With 775,000 sold in the seven years it was on sale, there’s no doubting the importance of the second-generation model to keep current buyers coming back and attract new ones. UK sales are set to start in spring 2019 and we expect a long waiting list soon after.