Range Rover has pulled the covers from its second-generation Evoque SUV, revealing a more grown up model that is larger inside and out, shares the styling of its bigger siblings and adopts hybrid power for the first time.
Initial variants will use 48-volt mild hybrid technology, but a more serious plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is on the way within a year and at least two versions are on offer with more conventional petrol-only power. When it arrives, the PHEV will debut three-cylinder engines for the JLR family.
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Land Rover Australia is yet to detail the full line-up, which, if the current Evoque’s 16-strong variant offering is any indication, will be extensive, but the company has confirmed that three diesel four-cylinder engines and three turbo petrols will be available. Prices will start at $64,640 for the entry TD4 150, and the order books are open now with the first deliveries expected in the second quarter of 2019.
That price represents an $8590 increase over the previous most-affordable Evoque, but its maker says all versions now offer improved value in the form of sophisticated architecture and up-to-the-minute technology, as well as the new hybrid drivetrains.
Under normal driving conditions, the mild hybrid engines shut down when coasting at speeds below 17km/h to save fuel, but the belt-driven starter/generator can also lend a hand boosting power and torque when needed.
More frugal drivetrains are not the only way the new Evoque is sparing the planet. Up to 33kg of its kerb weight is made up of renewable or recycled materials, while the UK factory that builds them is also reducing its environmental impact with CO2 emissions from production almost halved since 2007.
Overall, the new Evoque is larger measuring 10mm wider at 2100mm from mirror-to-mirror. Length has increased by 1mm to 4371mm, while the wheelbase has been stretched 20mm to 2680mm. The latter serves to liberate more cabin space for all occupants, meaning the next Evoque should make a far better people carrier than before.
There’s also a 10 percent larger boot with 591 litres of seats-up cargo space, which can expand to 1383 litres with the 40:20:40 split folding rear seats flipped down.
Its footprint may be bigger, but the new Evoque has been given a haircut. The roof height has been lowered by 11mm to further enhance the Evoque’s low and wide stance, an attribute that was instrumental in establishing the first-generation model’s status as an aspirational auto.
Aesthetically, the 2019 Evoque carries over a strikingly similar theme from the previous version. However the polarising three-door version isn’t returning - for now at least – which also means the even more divisive Evoque Convertible isn’t likely to make a comeback either.
It’s not just a simple re-hash though. There’s a stronger familial resemblance to other Range Rover products, most notably the Velar, and gone are the mock-roader plastic wheel arch protectors. The latter is perhaps acknowledgment that most Evoques spend the majority of their lives in the metropolis.
Following the monster wheel trend, the Evoque is shod with up to 21-inch wheels while other exterior elements borrow the latest in tech trends such as matrix LED headlights and sequential indicators, a-la Audi.
For the handful of owners that do choose to take their Evoque away from the suburban grind, the new model packs a number of systems geared for all-terrain adventures, including a new Ground View feature.
The system uses a series of cameras to display the view immediately in front and to the side of the front wheels on the new 10-inch central digital display, giving the effect of an ‘invisible bonnet’. There’s also a ‘smart rear view’ mirror for easier manoeuvring on and off road.
A second 10-inch screen enables access to all other information and entertainment systems including the climate panel and smartphone mirroring, and also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The latest version of Jaguar Land Rovers Touch Pro Duo system also rolls in a third digital screen, with a 12.3-inch unit taking care of the driver’s instrument cluster.
Wading depth has been increased by 100mm to 600mm and the new Evoque offers a suite of Terrain Response 2 electronics which allow the Evoque to either go further off the beaten trail or boost confidence on the blacktop.
The range of engines, all from Jaguar Land Rover’s cutting-edge Ingenium powertrain range, send power to all four wheels via a nine-speed ZF automatic transmission as standard. There’s no mention of the manual gearbox that was offered in the first generation Evoque making a comeback in the second-gen successor.
Front suspension is looked after by commonplace MacPherson struts which have fluid-filled bushings for reduced levels of noise and vibration transmitted through to the cabin and steering, while a multilink set up takes care of the tail end. Customers are offered adaptive dampers as an option.
Full local pricing and specifications will be announced closer to the new Evoque’s local arrival in the second quarter of 2019.