Range Rover’ stylish Evoque enters its second generation with a complete redesign that features the automaker’s Premium Transverse Architecture and little in common with the outgoing version. Conventionally-powered and mild hybrid (MHEV) versions will be sold in the U.S., with the hybrid coming at a base cost of $46,600. A plug-in hybrid variant is planned for offshore markets but it’s not yet clear if it will make it to the States.
The model’s extended, 105.6-inch wheelbase is identical to that of the Jaguar E-Pace, bringing with it more interior space and extra rear knee room. Evoque also gets a version of the E-Pace ‘s Integral Link rear suspension. The new Evoque platform uses more high-strength steel as well aluminum to save weight. The Evoque also contains about 70 pounds of recycled material.
A 48-volt, lithium-ion battery pack mounted beneath the floor in the MHEV variant connects to a belt-driven motor-generator mounted at the side of the SUV’s turbocharged, 2.0-liter Ingenium engine. The engine turns off while coasting with the system recovering and storing energy normally lost during deceleration. The engine will also shut off while braking at speeds below 11 mph to increase efficiency, restarting as soon as it is needed. This reduces fuel consumption by about 6 percent.
The battery stores up to 200 watt-hours of electrical energy that can be used to generate up to 103 lb-ft torque to assist during acceleration. The MHEV system delivers a combined 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft torque. This compares to 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft for the conventional Evoque. A sprint from 0 to 60 mph is quicker in the hybrid at 6.3 seconds, down from 7.0 seconds.
Gear transitions are handled by a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddles in the AWD Evoque. Driveline Disconnect allows running in front-wheel drive to reduce transmission losses when four-wheel drive is not needed, with this system automatically detecting surfaces and adjusting settings accordingly. Terrain Response offers six drive modes – General, Eco, Sand, Grass-Gravel-Snow, Mud-Ruts, and Auto – with the latter automatically selecting the most appropriate mode for road conditions and adjusting suspension and electronic systems as needed. Evoque also includes hill-descent control and all-terrain progress control capabilities that enable the vehicle to handle throttle and braking automatically when driving tricky off-road trails, allowing the driver to focus on steering and watching for obstacles.
The Evoque is the first vehicle that can be equipped with Land Rover’s ClearSight ground camera system. Cameras in the radiator grille and side mirrors project images in the infotainment display that allow viewing what‘s in front, under, and to the sides of the front wheels. Through the optional ClearSight rear view mirror, a driver also gets a crystal-clear, unobstructed wide-angle view to the rear for backing up and parking. Cameras are covered with a hydrophobic coating that repels water and mud, a handy feature since the Evoque can wade through water up to 23.6 inches deep.
Plug-in hybrid power combines a 197-horsepower, 1.5-liter three-cylinder Ingenium engine driving the front wheels with a 107-horsepower electric motor powering the rear. There is no mechanical connection between the front and rear axles. The Evoque PHEV is capable of operating as a front-wheel drive vehicle, rear-wheel drive electric vehicle, or as an AWD hybrid with both power sources combined.