The current Range Rover Evoque.

The new ‘hybrid’ Evoque.

 

Land Rover has taken the wraps off a new Evoque, but don’t expect a car that looks very different.

The cute little Rangey has been a runaway success for the company and the last thing it wants to do is upset the apple cart.

The big news however is that it will be available with a choice of hybrid petrol-electric engines.

Land Rover says the new Evoque is a sophisticated evolution of the distinctive coupe silhouette.

The introduction of jewel-like elements such as super-slim Matrix LED headlamps provide a more sophisticated front and rear lamp graphic.

Flush door handles add to the smooth, sculpted aesthetic, while sweeping directional indicators create a purposeful signature.

Optional R-Dynamic details and copper accents add to the unique appeal.

Inside, the finely crafted design integrates uncluttered surfaces and simple lines with carefully curated premium materials to create a luxurious, minimalist, digital cabin.

Technical textiles that use recycled plastics are offered as premium alternatives to leather, such as a Kvadrat wool blend and Miko suedecloth, as well as Eucalyptus and Ultrafabrics options.

A longer wheelbase yields 20mm extra rear kneeroom and an increase in small item stowage – the larger glove box and centre cubby can now fit tablets, handbags and bottles with ease.

The luggage space is 10 per cent larger (591 litres) as well as much wider and easily fits a folded pram or set of golf clubs, with space increasing to 1383 litres when the flexible 40:20:40 second-row seats are folded.

The new architecture has been developed for electrification, with a 48-volt mild-hybrid available at launch and a plug-in hybrid model offered around 12 months afterwards.

The mild hybrid powertrain is a first for Land Rover and works by harvesting energy normally lost during deceleration thanks to the engine-mounted belt-integrated starter generator, storing it in the under-floor battery.

At speeds below 17km/h, the engine will shut off while the driver applies the brakes.

When pulling away, the stored energy is redeployed to assist the engine under acceleration and reduce fuel consumption.

The result is a refined, quiet and efficient drive in built-up traffic heavy areas, in addition to efficiency savings.

The mild hybrid powertrain will be available on the range of four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engines as well as the 221kW/400Nm petrol engine.

An even more efficient plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) model will also join the range next year.

Product Engineering’s Nick Rogers, said underneath the skin is an engineering and technical revolution.

“The architecture is all-new to enable electrification, with only the door hinges remaining unchanged,” he said.

“Evoque is now more digital than ever. The software that sits behind the infotainment system has been advanced to make it sharp, smooth and intuitive.

“On top of that, we’ve added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabling seamless smartphone integration.”

Evoque is the first Land Rover with Smart Settings, which uses artificial intelligence algorithms to learn the driver’s preference and acts as an onboard butler.

In addition to seat position, music and climate settings, Evoque can control massage and steering column preferences to maximise comfort.

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.