A lot has changed since 2010 when Land Rover launched the original Range Rover Evoque. SUVs and CUVs have become the dominant market segment and the Evoque, while perhaps now a little long-in-the-tooth, is at least partly responsible for a period of great success at Land Rover. Now, new for 2020, we have a revised and updated Evoque. Following the design language of the striking Velar, the new Evoque is sleeker, easier to live with, and decidedly more tech-forward—all without changing the basic formula that made the original Evoque such a success over the past decade.
The Evoque is Land Rover’s play at a younger crowd—in its home market of the UK, about 70 per cent of owners are city-based and some 76 per cent are conquest buyers (that is, customers with no previous Land Rover ownership). The Evoque is an extremely popular and important product for Land Rover and that is due to its combination of size, price, and luxury brand profile.
The new Evoque retains the original’s concept car looks with a fluid design that has been simplified in many details: the smaller front and rear overhangs, the thin headlights, the 21-inch wheels, and the fully flush door handles. While at first glance the new Evoque may look quite similar to the current gen, this Evoque rides on a brand-new platform and body (save for the door hinges on the latter). The wheelbase has been extended 21mm to allow for additional rear legroom, and areas like the trunk and other internal storage spaces have been rethought for greater accessibility. This new platform, dubbed “PTA”, has been designed from the ground up for electrification and hybrid duties, with a variety of 4-cylinder engines and hybrid powertrains planned for the launch next year.
Those engines will be mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission and the Evoque will have the ability to operate in full two-wheel drive mode with the front wheels automatically re-engaged in as little as 300ms. Land Rover is very proud of the off-road capabilities of all of its models, and the Evoque is no slouch, with rear axle locking, torque vectoring, all-wheel drive, 600mm wading depth (with digital indication of current depth), and the advanced rear suspension setup from the Velar.
Tech abounds, too: With much of the interior controls appearing on screen, the Evoque offers a 12.3-inch infotainment setup with a heads-up display (also optional) and 6 USB ports in the cabin. There are some other surprises as well, like the two-phase digital rear-view mirror. Functioning like a standard mirror, when you flip a toggle you’re suddenly looking at a screen pulling a super wide image from behind the Evoque. The display is bright with a high resolution and streams smoothly while offering a view unobstructed by passengers or cargo.
For tight places or dodgy bits of road, the Evoque also has Clearsight Ground View which shows a digital representation of the front wheels supported by a series of cameras to offer a view that approximates seeing through the hood of the vehicle. With the active lane keep assist system and an adaptive cruise control that can manage stop-and-go traffic, the Evoque is well-equipped for both city traffic and a rocky trail.
With modernization so too comes the need for a focus on sustainability, an ethos that has been identified as crucial to Land Rover buyers. The brand has carbon neutral operations in the UK and has endeavored to send zero waste to landfills, including the removal of some 14-million single-use items from its workflow. All Land Rover vehicles will offer electrification by 2020 (including a forthcoming plug-in hybrid option for the Evoque). Even the interior materials have been considered for sustainability, with Land Rover offering leather alternatives including plant-based materials, recycled microfibre suede, and wool-blend textiles.
While the official launch is slated for next year and Canadian pricing will be announced at the Montreal Autoshow in 2019, the Evoque carries a base price of €37,350 ($56,500 Canadian) in Europe. Inside and out, it’s an impressive refresh of a vehicle that is crucial to the brand. Thoughtfully redesigned, the new Evoque modernizes a proven format with new tech, greater comfort and capability, and an eye towards the future of automotive design.
Photos by James Stacey.
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