At first glance, you might not recognize the compact ute has gotten a nearly complete makeover, but there have been plenty of significant changes made to the 2019 Range Rover Evoque, more than 90% of what you’d find under the skin of the compact SUV being all new.
First launched in 2010 as a 2011 model, the Evoque quickly became the most popular model in Land Rover history and, even as the first-generation ute approached the end of its run it has remained quite popular. But, in an increasingly crowded market, the British sibling of Jaguar is taking no chances.
“When Range Rover Evoque made its debut back in 2010, it transformed the world of compact SUVs and the new model is set to continue that remarkable journey,” declared design director Gerry McGovern, at a splashy British unveiling on Thursday evening. “This characterful vehicle combines refinement and fun to create that all important emotional reaction that will turn heads and make people smile.”
(Land Rover initially teased the debut of the Evoque with unique, full-size wireframe models. Click Here to check them out.)
There are, as one might expect, a number of key design cues carried over from the original Range Rover Evoque, including the clamshell hood, the distinctively sloping roof lines and the bulging wheel arches. But the new model also gets a number of new touches aimed at giving it a more sophisticated appearance, as if the original, brash young interloper is growing up. That includes more subtle sculpting to the body sides, as well as new flush door handles.
The second-generation Evoque rides, as we noted, on a completely new platform that Land Rover calls its Premium Transverse Architecture. We’ll find it underpinning a wide range of the brand’s future products. One reason for the new platform was that Land Rover wanted to move past the technology developed while it was still a subsidiary of Ford Motor Co. More importantly, it needed a flexible architecture that could handle its push into electrification.
“The architecture is all-new to accommodate both plug-in and mild hybrid systems, with only the door hinges remaining unchanged on the body,” saidNick Rogers, Executive Director, Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover. “The new chassis makes the most of the stiffer body, ensuring the characteristic ride comfort and refinement of a Range Rover.
In terms of wheelbase, the new platform is ever so slightly longer than the outgoing Evoque’s, but the overall length is slightly shorter. This translates into improved rear-seat legroom, addressing one of the key complaints about the original SUV.
(Jaguar Land Rover dedicates new European assembly plant. Click Here for the story.)
Globally, the new Evoque will be offered with a wide range of different powertrain options – but a significant number of those will come with some form of 48-volt mild hybrid technology. Going forward, you can expect to see Land Rover use mild, conventional and plug-in technology across the board to help it meet tough new global emissions and fuel economy standards, with all-electric drivetrains in development, as well.
The new mild-hybrid will offer a number of advantages, according to Land Rover, among other things allowing the Evoque to shut off its engine when it drops down to less than 11 mph, rather than waiting to reach a complete stop. The company claims this should add up to about a 6% boost in fuel efficiency. The system will also be able to deliver a modest boost in acceleration at launch.
One of the key drivers for the new Evoque was improving its technology, said Rogers, who added that, “The Range Rover Evoque is now smarter than ever. The software that sits behind our infotainment system has been refined to provide a more intuitive customer experience. On top of that, we’ve added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless smartphone integration.”
One of the more significant additions to the 2019 remake is what has been dubbed Clearsight Groundview. It’s a production version of the Transparent Hood technology previewed a few years ago. It uses cameras mounted on the side mirrors to provide a view of the ground ahead, eliminating guesswork when you’re going off-roading or, if you prefer, when you’re trying to avoid running up on a parking lot curb. The view is displayed on the Evoque’s upper infotainment screen.
The SUV now also offers a camera-based rearview mirror. In the U.S., motorists will be able to flip a switch to flip between that enhanced view and a conventional mirror image.
In Britain, the 2019 Range Rover Evoque will start at £31,600, or $40,530. U.S. pricing, fuel economy and other details will be revealed next February at the Chicago Auto Show.
(They’re new, but they’re also old. Click Here to find out more about these special Jaguar electric vehicles.)