Range Rover Evoque – Prepare to be blown away

Ian Lamming is blown away by the new Range Rover Evoque.

http://www.motormadreviews.co.uk/2019/04/16/range-rover-evoque-prepare-to-be-blown-away/Daddy and Laddy take the new Evoque off road

Posted by Ian Lamming on Tuesday, 16 April 2019

 

CAN you do the maths, because I can’t. It is staggering!

Standing in Land Rover’s Halewood plant Evoque after Evoque trundle by every few seconds in various stages of dress and undress. They start at one end with sheets of Tata metal (steel and aluminium) and 48 hours later a new Evoque or a Discovery Sport pops out the other end, each one with a named owner and, hence, representing money in the bank for JLR.

This is the bit the I can’t quite comprehend – 700 vehicles a day, 363 days a year (the plant only closes on Christmas and New Year’s Day) at an average price of, say, for ease of the maths, £50K. Well that’s a lot then isn’t it?

The other amazing thing about being assembly line-side are the bewildering levels of engineering required (have you ever seen a wiring loom close up, OMG), the logistics of just-in-time manufacturing and the mindset to not only work in a factory but to enjoy it.

With this in mind, how could a critic, because ultimately that is what my breed is, dare criticise or even nit-pick against this backdrop of human skill, resolve and engineering prowess. Could I design or manufacturer an Evoque? No. But could I drive the second generation of what must be the world’s most successful luxury car? Oh yeah baby, bring it on. So those nice press people at Land Rover did just that and the line of spanking new Evoques in the plant car park were just for us.

Where do we start? Well, we are outside so the obvious place is the new look. I like it; it’s become a baby Velar with the upmarket Ranger Rover snout and lovely rump. All that’s missing is the terrace-street length to differentiate the two – there’s only a mill or two in it compared with the older Evoque – and the proportions are actually pretty perfect. It’s a classy evolution of a model which sold well to the end.

Don’t be fooled, this is a brand new Evoque, only the door hinges have been carried over and even then they are in different places, but the unique look continues which should protect residual values of the out-going model.

Inside, the Velar treatment has been employed to great effect and the Evoque oozes, perspires and excretes quality, innovation and technology. Gosh, it’s a lovely place to be. JLR remain masters of interior designs and the new Evoque follows that rule.

Clever bits to mention include the twin glass touchscreens and trick exterior cameras. ‘Oh look, I can’t see behind me very well because there is a passenger occupying the central rear seat.’ Flick a switch (where the dimmer toggle used to be) on the rear view mirror and it becomes a high definition rear view camera screen.

Now, you know when you are cresting a hill and all you can see is sky and bonnet? Well, the top screen can now project what a forward-facing camera sees and the effect is to make the bonnet disappear. How clever is that?

It’s great when we venture off road allowing a useful views all-round when negotiating a tight and threatening quarry, which is also a seamless reminder that this car is the proper job when it comes to off-roading. Yes, you will see plenty in the school car park, the high street and at the out of town shopping plaza. But this Range Rover will crawl up, down and across the most challenging of terrains, cocking a leg here, not locking up there and wading to the same depth as a Defender (an impressive 600mm).

On the road it is a peerless mile-muncher because petrol and diesels (now featuring mild

hybrids) are powerful, refined and relaxed and are coupled to fuss-free nine-speed automatics boxes.

When the original Evoque was launched it was a revolution for Land Rover selling close to 800,000 in more than 200 countries. It wasn’t supposed to do that but it did it anyway and it is virtually impossible to see the new model not continuing the trend, despite the UK’s best efforts to implode. Now try and get your head around that one because I can’t.

Fact File

Range Rover Evoque

Engine: 2.0 petrol and diesels

Power: 150 – 300 PS

0-60mph: 6.3 – 10.4 secs

Top speed: 122 – 150mph

Combined MPG: 34.9 – 52.3

Transmission: Nine speed automatic

CO2 g/km: 143 – 186

Price: £31,600 – £40,350

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