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The 2014 Range Rover Evoque will arrive in Australia from March promising new technologies, a new transmission and claiming an improvement in fuel economy of more than 11 per cent.

Developed in collaboration with German transmission specialist ZF, the new 9HP nine-speed automatic – which debuted at this year’s Geneva motor show – supersedes the current six-speed unit and is also claimed to help reduce CO2 emissions by 9.5 per cent.

The single front-wheel-drive Evoque, the eD4, remains manual-only, however, with its 2.2-litre turbo-diesel continuing to produce 110kW of power and 380Nm of torque. When equipped with the nine-speed automatic, the same engine delivers 400Nm and drives all four wheels, and continues to be called the Evoque TD4, yet it now matches the eD4 manual’s 4.9L/100km combined consumption.

The nine-speeder also teams with a 140kW/420Nm version of the same-sized diesel (still called Evoque SD4) and the 177kW/340Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine (still named Si4). Although consumption figures are yet to be released for these models, Land Rover is promising efficiency improvements.

Land Rover To Demonstrate The World’s First 9-Speed Automatic Transmission

The addition of what Land Rover tags ‘Active Driveline’ helps to further push efficiency improvements, but is reserved for the Evoque Si4 only. During “steady-state driving at speeds above 35km/h” only the front wheels are driven, with the system now providing ‘on demand’ four-wheel drive, sending drive to the rear within 300 milliseconds when needed.

Active Driveline works with an Active Torque Biasing system and an electronic differential (e-Diff) to then distribute torque between each rear wheel, which is claimed to optimise traction and stability.

All 2014 SD4 and Si4 models also include Torque Vectoring by Braking as standard.

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Seven new driver assist programs have also been introduced. Added features to the existing auto-park assist system include Park Exit (to automatically exit parallel parking bays) and Perpendicular Park (to position the car centrally in parking bays). The updated Evoque is also now available with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, reverse traffic detection and wade sensing.

The 2014 Range Rover Evoque distinguishes itself from the outgoing range with four new alloy wheel styles, new interior colour options, and newly redesigned ‘Land Rover’ badges on the grille, wheel centres and tailgate.

Full pricing and specification details will be announced closer to the compact SUV’s local launch, though, the entry point is to remain unchanged with the Pure eD4 manual retaining its current $49,995 starting price.

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