OUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS DRIVING THE NEW EVOQUE
Land Rover freely admits that the Evoque is used less off road than any other model in its range – but, nonetheless, Land Rover wouldn’t be Land Rover if all its cars didn’t maintain the 4x4 heritage.
For that reason, we are told that this second-generation model is more capable than ever on challenging terrain.
To test this claim, we took the new Evoque for a brief drive in some tunnels in east London where a host of off-road obstacles were set up to showcase how improved the Evoque is over its predecessor.
As mentioned in the main story (left), there is plenty of new capability in the mainstream engineering of the car: improved wade depth (600mm) and the latest All Terrain Response system, for starters.
But what’s instantly noticeable behind the wheel is the new technology in the cabin to make off-roading more manageable.
Called Clearsight Ground View, it is the realisation of technology seen in the 2014 Discovery Vision concept, which essentially lets you see through the bonnet – and it’s a world first.
The system uses cameras in the front grille and the door mirrors to project a feed onto the touchscreen to display what is underneath and in front of the car.
You know how the adrenaline kicks in when you can only see the sky going up a 45deg gradient? Now you can see what’s down the other side, thanks to the camera. In another view (quickly changeable on the touchscreen), you can see a 3D image of the wheels. This not only works off-road, but also helps navigating high kerbs in the city – of particular relevance to the majority of Evoque owners.
We tried both: the first view going up a steep ramp and the second to keep the wheels on a train track. It would take a while to get used to but, for our first try, it was faultless.
We’ll have to wait for a longer drive for broader impressions, but a handful of things were evident at low speeds: the steering weight is well-balanced, the 2.0-litre diesel Ingenium engine is refined below 10mph and the steering lock is impressive.
Plus, the Velar-inspired interior will win over many buyers, especially those replacing an old Evoque.
Obstacle course put new Evoque’s off-road abilities to the test Prominent screens make monitoring progress easier Clearsight Ground View lets you ‘see through’ the bonnet