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Ford four-pot for new Evoque

2010-09-22 12:54

It may say Range Rover on the packaging, but you won’t get far off-road with the new Evoque. As a social status image climbing machine it is sure to be a hit.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Land Rover
Model Evoque
Engine 2l turbo
Power 176kW
Torque 325Nm
Transmission Six-speed auto
Weight 1 625kg
Front Suspension McPherson strut
Rear Suspension Multi-link
A week away from its Paris motor show mass public debut, Land Rover has released technical specification for its new mini-Range Rover.

The Evoque’s radical design has been castigated by some as possessing no Land Rover DNA whatsoever, yet this is a car to guide Solihull into the future. Its styling and proportions clearly define this purpose.

Designer Gerry McGovern is responsible for the new vehicle being touted as the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient Range Rover yet.

A Range Rover, without low-range...

Controversially, the Evoque will debut two-wheel drive as part of Land Rover’s product portfolio – making it easily the most contentious vehicle yet to sport a Land Rover badge.

The Evoque’s styling is dominated by a rising waistline and sloping roofline, which render an asymmetrical glasshouse profile.

What it lacks in Land Rover DNA (especially Range Rover likeness, considering it sports the legendary premium SUV moniker on its bonnet and tail door) it makes up for in the neatness of design and execution.

All Evoque models will roll off the production line rotating 19" wheels, really filling out those wheel arches and adding to the harmonised visual effect.

The car is appreciably smaller than its Range Rover namesakes, a substantial 432mm shorter and 178mm lower than a Range Rover Sport, not to mention a whole lot lighter – only 1625kg.

Ford power

In fact the Evoque is not really a Range Rover family member at all – think of more as a premium Freelander 2.

Initially the Evoque will be powered by Ford's EcoBoost 2l engine, producing 176kW and driving throuh a six-speed autoc transmission.

Reflecting its urban utility bias, the Evoque has no reduction ratio transfer case or a locking differential.

For off-road progress it will rely on Land Rover’s 'terrain response' system, configured to the level of robustness found in the Freelander 2.

Terrain response’s dial set-up has been replaced with a four-setting, button-actuated system for the Evoque, neatening the centre console's apperance.

With 180kW on tap, the car will float over sand and offer traction security up a muddy driveway but don’t expect to conquer anything beyond mild off-road terrain.

The Evoque should be the most dynamically agile Land Rover yet with its electrically geared power steering and Magnetic ride-adjustable shock absorbers at each corner.

Its cabin architecture and trim borrow heavily from twin brand Jaguar. The pop-up gear selector dial, polished finishes and neutral-hued instrumentation illumination are all pure XF/XJ. An optional full-sized panoramic sunroof can bathe the cabin in natural light.

Infotainment convergence is controlled through a 203mm touch screen, sound relayedcourtesy of a 17" Meridian system.

What's the point?

Despite being considered plain heresy by Land Rover enthusiasts, the Evoque is a key model for the sustainability of the company’s future – where reducing emissions is crucial. 

Therefore the Evoque’s 130g CO2/km emissions profile will buy Land Rover time to develop a new Defender and trim mass (whilst adding more efficient drivetrains) to its Discovery and Range Rover models.

Think of the Evoque as a larger, very posh, Freelander 2 with cleaner emissions and a dollop of urban chic style.

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