Range Rover Evoque
When taking a look at automotive companies in general, it’s easy to see the many ups and downs that are experienced over the years, whether the circumstances are based on economic climate, consumer taste, product appeal or financial health. As can be seen in today’s fast-paced auto industry, mighty corporations that appeared invincible can easily be humbled by a variety of issues. The most compelling is when products start to lose appeal, as in the case of the Land Rover Group. Just a few years ago, its product portfolio was starting to look stale and fall behind the leaders in the premium segment. The company realized its shortfall, and has since reinvented the brand, offering appealing premium SUVs that now cover the compact premium crossover, mid-size and large premium SUV segment. The big news is the launch of the radical 2012 Range Rover Evoque premium crossover SUV, which replaces the aging LR2 model that was otherwise known as the Freelander. It looked like a risky venture for the Land Rover group to bring to market a vehicle with overly futuristic looks, a small displacement 4-cylinder turbo engine and pricing that put it above the competition. The inclusion of a two-door Coupe model not offered by the competition is also looked at as a bold move.
On first impressions, the compact-sized Range Rover Evoque looks to be about style, with futuristic looks not seen on any SUV today. The sleek, contemporary body is easily recognized, as it embodies some key styling similarities with its big brother, the Range Rover. The Evoque is the only model within the compact premium SUV segment to offer two different body styles: a four-door and a two-door known as the Coupe. Very similar to the Mini Cooper, the Evoque can be ordered with contrasting roof colours, various interior colour combinations and three “design themes” for further customization. Looking sporty and sleek does come with compromises in the practicality side. The low-tapering roofline cuts into rear cabin headroom and rear
Inside, the cabin theme is highly modern and high-tech, unlike the old world charm renowned in the Range Rover. The centre console is unlike any conventional design. The traditional gear shift lever is missing, substituted by a rising rotary dial that is used for gear selection. This design looks to be a similar unit used on Jaguar sedans. Another casualty to modernism is the conventional handbrake lever or parking brake pedal, which is now a discreet switch ahead of the transmission selector. A cool feature for nighttime driving is the ambient mood-lighting system that comes in five colours. This helps to give the interior a cool, luxurious feel.
Under the hood is also a high-tech, fuel-friendly power train. The sole engine offered on the 2012 Range Rover Evoque is a 2.0-Litre turbocharged direct injection 4-cylinder engine that puts out 240-horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. Standard is a 6-speed automatic transmission and a full-time all-wheel-drive system with Land Rover’s Terrain Response
off-roading system, which includes four Terrain Response settings for general driving: grass/gravel/snow, mud and ruts and sand. The chances of an owner ever exploring the capabilities of these systems is probably nil! Good luck finding an off-road trail anywhere near or in a city that isn’t private
or government-owned. Interestingly, the sales brochure also states that the Evoque is able to wade through water at up to 19.7 inches! That’s great, if you happen to live in an area prone to
It looks like Range Rover may have hit the market at the right time with the Evoque, as it offers ultra-contemporary style, premium features and a politically correct power train for today’s automotive climate. The true test will be to see how buyers react to the newest Range Rover.
GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS: RANGE ROVER EVOQUE
BODY STYLE: 2-Door Coupe and 4-door SUV
ENGINE: 2.0-L, 4-Cylinder Turbo with Direct Injection
TORQUE: 251 lb ft.
FUEL ECONOMY L/100KM: City – 10.7 / Hwy – 7.1
TRANSMISSION: 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
DRIVE TRAIN: Full time All-Wheel-Drive
BASE PRICE: : $46,995 – $61,595