In a sneak peek, afforded to a small contingent of Australia’s motoring press today, we have witnessed a rare occurrence in the automotive world, whereby the pre-production model Range Rover Evoque has outshone the stunning LRX concept car.
Gerry McGovern, Design Director at Land Rover, has pulled it off; what he and his team have created in the Evoque will become an iconic vehicle and without doubt, the most sought after model in Range Rover’s 40-year history.
Despite the fact that the Evoque will not hit the showroom floor before mid-to-late 2011, over 20,000 expressions of interest have been received in the UK alone, along with more than 650 deposits of £1000, and this is before these folks have seen the car or have any idea on price.
What we saw today was the three-door version with a four-seat architecture, but you can bet that customers won’t have to wait long for a five-door version with a three-seat bench in the rear.
That said, part of the profile of Evoque is that buyers will be able choose between three design specifications (being more than simply trim levels) Pure, Prestige and Dynamic, in addition to specifying alternative seating options, such as individual or bench, for example.
Gerry McGovern calls the Evoque a “Crossover Coupe” but whatever you call it, the overall design is a bona fide head-turner. From some angles it looks large, but from others, it appears quite compact.The signature floating roofline is heavily tapered to the rear, and looks as if it would be a struggle to fit anything taller than an Irish garden gnome in the back seat; the opposite is in fact true. Land Rover’s 6’4” Managing Director, Phil Popham, was more than happy to demonstrate just how passenger friendly the Evoque is.
The fact is the Range Rover Evoque is indeed a compact vehicle of just 434 cm or a full 178 mm shorter than the current Ranger Rover Sport. It’s light too at just 1625 kilograms this SUV is environmentally friendly.
Low CO2 technologies such as electric assisted power steering (EAPS), regenerative charging help reduce emissions down to 130g/km on the four-cylinder turbocharged powered variant.
While the Evoque is strikingly different from anything in the current Range Rover stable, it somehow manages to retain the purity of the brand with its bold design and luxurious interior.
Even on the entry level ‘Pure’ variant, the hand-stitched leather sports seats look to be of the same quality you would find in any other Range Rover product.
The Evoque is every bit the Range Rover and if anything, it out-sports the ‘Sport’, with its swooping profile and tough front-on stance.
Gerry McGovern sums it best, when he said, “The Range Rover Evoque marks a bold evolution of Range Rover design by adopting new interpretations of classic Range Rover design cues and staying true to the core Range Rover values."
There’s no shortage of premium technology on board Evoque either, with the availability of the superb 8-inch, high-definition touch screen, which is incredibly intuitive, and available with Land Rover’s dual-view technology.
No doubt, this Range Rover is likely to come with an extensive options list, including the first-ever panoramic glass roof on a Range Rover, which should provide a more spacious feeling for passengers in the vehicle.
Naturally, there’s the option of a top shelf sound system, courtesy of a Meridian 825W 17-speaker system, with full surround sound.
Other key technologies include; Surround Camera System, Adaptive/Auto Dipping Headlights, Keyless entry and powered tailgate, Heated windshield, seats and steering wheel and hard drive SatNav system, to name but part of the features inventory.
Like all vehicles sporting a Land Rover badge, the Evoque is designed and equipped to handle difficult off-road conditions. As Gerry said, “It is a Range Rover, it will be capable.”
Propriety technology onboard includes the ‘set and forget’ Terrain Response and Hill Decent systems.
That said both two wheel-drive and four wheel-drive drivelines will be available to Evoque buyers, but it’s difficult to speculate on the split between the two systems.
What isn’t such as difficult call is that if you think you might like a Range Rover Evoque in your garage, then you best get down to your local dealer without further ado and add your name to the order book, as Land Rover bosses are predicting a significant number of female buyers will add their names to the list.