Brit car-maker’s second Range Rover Evoque builds on old model’s success with similar looks, more advanced tech and hybrid power
Land Rover has revealed its replacement for its fastest-selling model of all time, the 2019 Range Rover Evoque.
Revealed at a converted brewery in east London’s ultra-cool Brick Lane, the second-generation Range Rover Evoque is set to arrive Down Under around the second quarter of next year.
The original Range Rover Evoque invented the premium compact SUV segment, or that’s what Land Rover likes to claim. Keen to hold onto its best-seller spot, the British SUV-maker has little intention of messing with an exceptionally successful formula that has, so far, led to almost 800,000 sales over eight years.
That’s why, instead of “ripping it up and starting afresh”, Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern took a more conservative approach, tasking his team of stylists to carefully preserve the Evoque’s “distinctive DNA”.
“How can we make it better without losing that DNA” — was the creative mantra driving the development of the second installment of the shrunken Rangie.
In pictures you might argue McGovern may have gone too far with the preservation, with the new car looking more like a clever mid-life facelift rather than an all-new car.
In the metal, it’s another story and fans of the baby Range Rover will be relieved to see the changes are far more noticeable. And they should be, since Land Rover claims 99.9 per cent of the 2019 Evoque’s body is all-new, with only a set of door hinges carrying over from before.
It’s up close that you begin to appreciate design details like the smoother Velar-inspired integrated grille, the hidden flush door pulls, slimmer headlights, cleaner lines and precise panel gaps.
In other words, the Evoque looks and feels more grown up and sophisticated.
For the second-generation Evoque,Land Rover has ditched the three-door and focused on the more family-friendly five-door.
Engineers behind the new Evoque promise class-leading comfort from the new adaptive (optional) dampers and unbeatable refinement. This includes lowering the engine mounts to reduce lateral rotation of the engine under acceleration — a move that is attributed with substantially reducing vibration from entering the cabin.
Speaking of engines, Land Rover says that from launch 90 per cent of all Evoques sold will feature some level of electrification. This includes introducing a mild-hybrid (MHEV) version of the car-maker’s turbocharged 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol and diesel powertrains.
The 48-volt mild-hybrid system uses an 11kW engine belt integrated starter generator and an underfloor battery.
Making off-roading easier, the Evoque sequel gets Ground View tech that effectively allows you — with the help of on-board cameras — to peer ‘through’ the bonnet to the front wheels when traversing narrow gaps or treacherous rocky landscape.
A similar camera mounted in the Evoque’s trademark shark-fin antenna also projects a widescreen image, improving visibility both on and off the road.
It’s the changes in the cabin that will delight both existing owners and new buyers to the brand. Adopting its dual-screen Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, the look and feel of the cheapest Range Rover is nothing short of trespassing into Velar territory.
Better yet, thanks to over-the-air-updates, Land Rover claims the Evoque’s infotainment system will remain cutting-edge and, with embedded AI learning your habits and behaviour, the combination of a clean cool design, decent functionality and plentiful on-board tech is likely to give rivals like the Audi Q5 a run for its money.