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First Drive: 2012 Range Rover Evoque

Forget going off-road. How about tunneling under Liverpool?

by on Sep.08, 2011

Even the Welsh rain couldn't slow our Range Rover Evoque during a recent drive.

Plenty of vehicles boast about their off-road capabilities.  But how many will take you underground to back up those claims?  And under Liverpool, no less?

But that’s precisely where we found ourselves in the new 2012 Range Rover Evoque, recently, cautiously piloting the maker’s new offering through a network of long-abandoned railroad tunnels deep beneath the old shipping town perhaps best known as the birthplace of the Beatles.

It was an unusual way to introduce a significant new offering from a brand that has traditionally defined the classic sport-utility vehicle.  The 2012 Range Rover Evoque is the first major new product to emerge from the British marque since Land Rover – and sibling brand Jaguar – were sold to Indian automotive wannabe Tata Motors several years ago.  It’s the newest model to share the top-line Range Rover badge.  And, perhaps most notably, it’s Land Rover’s first crossover-utility vehicle.

That’s more than a subtle distinction.  The 2012 Range Rover Evoque migrates to a car-like unibody platform, rather than Land Rover’s traditional body-on-frame truck chassis.  It also adopts a funky, coupe-like design that styling chief Gerry McGovern confides will have a strong influence over the next generation of Land Rover products – whether truck or crossover.

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The new model is both the smallest and, at just north of 3,500 pounds in base configuration, the lightest model ever to wear a Land Rover badge.  That reflects the reality of today’s automotive market.  Motorists are generally downsizing as they struggle to deal with crowded city streets and rising fuel prices.  That doesn’t mean they want to give up style, performance, space or functionality, however.


First Look: Land Rover Evoque 5-Door

More functional flagship to debut at L.A. Auto Show.

by on Nov.11, 2010

The 5-door version of the Range Rover Evoque will debut at next week's L.A. Auto Show.

Here’s a good look at Land Rover’s new 5-door Range Rover Evoque, a more functional take on the 3-door crossover that the British marque revealed at last month’s Paris Motor Show.

You can check it out in the sheet metal, next week, when it makes its debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

There’s been a sudden rush back to the sportier 3-door SUV, a formula popular in earlier years.  But for most potential buyers, 5-doors are simply more efficient, especially if you’ve squeezing kids and cargo into the back seat.

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The good news is that the basic shape of the 5-door Evoque maintains the earlier model’s coupe-like shape, though sharp eyes will note a slightly taller roofline to give adults some rear seat headroom.

Evoque, in all its incarnations, is meant to “expand and revitalize the global appeal of the Range Rover marque,” according to Phil Popham, Land Rover’s managing director.