Land Rover has just released fresh details of its new Range Rover Evoque luxury crossover, one week ahead of the 2010 Paris Motor Show.
The Evoque is Land Rover’s attempt at offering a sport utility vehicle that treads lightly. Under that stylish sheetmetal lies a lightweight chassis, electric power steering, and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, each designed to squeeze more distance from each drop of fuel.
But the real story is the Evoque’s breathtaking design. It’s the most aggressive and street-oriented interpretation of the Range Rover design language, with a rising beltline and sloping roofline that give the car an athletic stance.
Inside, the company’s ties to Jaguar are obvious (both brands are now owned by Indian automaker, Tata). There’s a rotary shifter for the transmission that rises at engine startup, a leather-covered dash, and crisp blue mood lighting.
Although the Evoque is the most street-biased Range Rover model yet, the company claims that it was still put through its paces off road. The Evoque was subjected to over 16,700 tests, including desert heat and sand in the Middle East, thick mud and clay in England, and ruts and deep water from a military proving grounds.
There’s an arsenal of electronic aids to keep the Evoque on track, including Land Rover’s excellent Terrain Response system, which adjusts various software and hardware around the car to suit conditions at the push of a button. Back in urban environments, the new Surround Camera system shows a virtual 360-degree view of the vehicle from overhead, to make parking in tight spaces a snap.
The new Evoque is meaner and greener, but is the world ready for a Range Rover that treads lightly?