OUR FIRST IM­PRES­SIONS DRIV­ING THE NEW EVOQUE

Autocar - - NEWS - RACHEL BURGESS

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

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