Rev­o­lu­tion of aes­thet­ics and en­gi­neer­ing

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL LAUNCH/ If you love the look of the larger and sleeker Ve­lar, then you will be bowled over by the new Evoque styling, writes Phuti Mpyane

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

Af­ter Range Rover’s en­try-level model launched in 2010, the Evoque went on to light up the sub­com­pact lux­ury cross­over SUV seg­ment with its eye­catch­ing de­sign, rack­ing up 772,096 in global sales.

With­out mess­ing about with the dis­tinc­tive orig­i­nal blue­print, the newly over­hauled Evoque bor­rows fresh styling cues from its larger brethren, but re­mains in­stantly recog­nis­able.

“Un­der­neath the skin is an en­gi­neer­ing and tech­ni­cal rev­o­lu­tion. The ar­chi­tec­ture is all new, with only the door hinges re­main­ing un­changed on the body. The chas­sis has been sig­nif­i­cantly re­worked to make the most of the stiffer body, en­sur­ing the char­ac­ter­is­tic ride com­fort and re­fine­ment of a Range Rover,” says Nick Rogers, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of prod­uct en­gi­neer­ing at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

It has more in­te­rior space due to a longer wheel­base that yields 20mm ex­tra rear knee­room and has 10% more lug­gage space of 591l that can be en­larged to 1,383l with the 40:20:40 sec­ond-row seats folded down. There’s also been an in­crease in small-item stowage the larger glove box and cen­tre cubby said to now fit tablets and hand­bags with ease.

JLR says the in­te­rior has been given or­derly dé­cor with min­i­mal­is­tic ar­range­ments, us­ing a va­ri­ety of pre­mium ma­te­ri­als such as wool and suede cloth.

Tech­nolo­gies on of­fer in­clude a new twin touch­screen Touch Pro Duo sys­tem sim­i­lar to that found in Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX, 16-way elec­tric seat con­trols, and even cabin air ion­i­sa­tion in high-end de­riv­a­tives. It also comes with smart set­tings that use ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence al­go­rithms to learn the driver’s pref­er­ence and acts as an on­board but­ler. In ad­di­tion to seat po­si­tion, mu­sic and cli­mate set­tings, the Evoque can also con­trol steer­ing-col­umn pref­er­ences to max­imise com­fort.

A seg­ment-first ClearSight rear-view mir­ror that trans­forms into an HD video screen is also avail­able. If rear vis­i­bil­ity is com­pro­mised by pas­sen­gers or bulky items, the driver sim­ply flicks a switch on the mir­ror and a cam­era feed from the top of the car dis­plays what is be­hind the ve­hi­cle in high-def­i­ni­tion, 50° field of vi­sion even in low­light sit­u­a­tions.

The up­dated Evoque is also the first ve­hi­cle to fea­ture ground-view tech­nol­ogy. This fea­ture projects cam­era im­agery onto the up­per touch­screen to show the driver a 180° front view, ef­fec­tively mak­ing the bon­net in­vis­i­ble for bet­ter ne­go­ti­at­ing of dif­fi­cult park­ing spa­ces, kerbs or tack­ling rough ter­rain.

But it’s the strik­ing new aes­thet­ics that pull us in. With su­per-slim Ma­trix LED head­lamps both front and rear, the new Evoque has a look sim­i­lar to that of the Range Rover Ve­lar. Op­tional R-Dy­namic de­tails and bur­nished cop­per ac­cents are also on of­fer.

There’s an en­try-level 2WD model but this one is not planned for SA.

The rest of the range fea­tures a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion all-wheeldrive sys­tem equipped with ter­rain re­sponse 2, which au­to­mat­i­cally de­tects the sur­faces be­ing driven on and ad­justs the drive set­tings ac­cord­ingly. The new ver­sion now wades through water up to 600mm deep, from 500mm pre­vi­ously.

It also uses the new cor­po­rate nam­ing strat­egy for the en­tire range of universal petrol and diesel four-cylin­der In­ge­nium engines.

JLR SA spokesper­son Izak Louw con­firms that only two Evoque mod­els will be avail­able when the up­dated range ar­rives in SA in the first quar­ter of 2019: the diesel Td4 D180 AWD nine­speed Au­to­matic with out­puts of 132kW and 430Nm; and the petrol Si4 P250 AWD nine­speed au­to­matic with 183kW and 365Nm.

The petrol hy­brid with 221kW and 400Nm may also be in­tro­duced as 2019 un­folds.

IT USES THE NEW COR­PO­RATE NAM­ING RANGE OF UNIVERSAL

Ele­gant looks should reignite Evoque love af­fairs. Be­low: Slim light clus­ters ben­e­fit the rear styling sig­nif­i­cantly.

The plush cabin fea­tures clas­sic min­i­mal­ism and high-tech ad­di­tions such as a new touch­screen sys­tem and air ion­i­sa­tion.

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