2012 Land Rover Evoque: Evoque-ing Excitement

Big beefy intimidating off-roaders with clear cut-lines and
over-sized windows are mere nostalgia nowadays it seems! The new age trend
dreams for smaller and sporty yet fuel-efficient SUVs just like the new Range Rover Evoque.
The launch of this new significant model, the Range Rover Evoque, marks a
historic turning point for the British carmaker the Land Rover. The new Evoque
is the Land Rover’s smallest (measuring just 4.35m length), lightest and most
fuel efficient model boasting a completely new design – one that is quite
unusual for a Range Rover. So, how does it measure up??

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Take a look at this strange Range Rover, largely derived
from the LRX concept vehicle which is particularly evident from the Evoque’s
lower sportier shape. The headlights are swept back which is exotic for a LR.
It’s got an over-powering presence thanks to the high hood line and those
chunky flanks all wrapped around that bevelled front end. What makes it even
more tantalising is the detailing, such as the ventilated grille, the led
clusters, the air intakes on the hood and the massive front bumper and air dam.
The sense of dynamism is elevated even more with the high shoulder line, the
low roof line, which has been flattened up giving the vehicle a sporty
appearance and the rear spoiler catalysing the effect, and the narrow windows.
Overall, the exterior design is brilliant and is simply too juicy to ignore
when it drives past!

The Evoque is available in 5-door SUV and a coupe – utility
vehicle versions. The 3-door coupe (Dynamic trim only) version is the costliest
at Rs. 58 lakhs with a 2-litre petrol motor. However, the 5-door SUVs comes
equipped only with a 2.2-litre diesel engine producing 190PS of power and 420Nm
of torque with 6-speed automatic transmission. This is the same engine used for
the upcoming Jaguar XF and features the same set of features, start stop, brake
regenerative energy tech and enhanced NVH levels. The car’s suspension features
MagneRide dampers – which are more typically fitted to high performance sports
cars – the Adaptive Dynamics system provides an optimum balance between
confident, nimble handling and a supple, well-controlled ride. It also provides
formidable off-road potential, which is enhanced by the company’s signature
Terrain Response system with four off-road programs though there’s no

This baby LR has lot to do with sustainability as well. The
use of advanced lightweight materials such as optimised steel body structure
with over 18 per cent of Boron/High Strength Steels makes this weigh just
1600kg. Adoption of low rolling resistance tyres, reduced aerodynamic drag
through smaller frontal area and detailed optimization, reduction of engine
internal friction through low friction coatings, gear train optimisation,
advanced idle control, adoption of low viscosity transmission fluid, etc. are
few other efforts undertaken. As a result, the performance improves and both
fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are significantly reduced.

When first shown as the land Rover LRX concept at the 2008
North American International Auto Show, I simply assumed it to be a pure
figment of some designer’s imagination and never thought it to be car of
reality. Not many concept vehicles have made it to production as well. But, the
company worked day and night and was committed the LRX project to production.
The Evoque then made its public debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Of course,
no one can be cynical about the company’s success in the Evoque venture; Land
Rover has taken the off-road motoring to the next level ensuring sustainability
and adaptability, retaining the fun factor. The Evoque has got several reasons
to celebrate!

Dhiyanesh Ravichandran

Editorial consultant (Automotive and Technology), academic, and blogger based in India. He can be reached at wagenclub@gmail.com

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