The new Range Rover Evoque is heading to Singapore soon.
The good news for aficionados of this compact luxury SUV is that they will find the new Evoque comfortingly familiar.
After all, why fool around with the design that has won the hearts of so many?
Since its introduction in 2011, more than 770,000 units have been sold.
Hence, the new Evoque’s styling is more of a “refresh” than a “redo”.
The body looks smoother, with fewer lines and protrusions.
But the coupe-like shape and rising beltline are still there.
A noteworthy addition to the Evoque is the quartet of flushed door handles.
The previous Evoque was also available as a three-door “coupe” and two-door convertible.
However, the new model is only available as a five-door SUV.
The Evoque is full of cutting-edge technologies.
One such highlight is JLR’s (Jaguar Land Rover) all-new Premium Transverse Architecture platform.
It can accommodate internal combustion engines (ICE), plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and full electric vehicle (EV) drivetrains.
Two Evoque variants were available during our drive across Greece: the P250 petrol and D240 diesel.
When the Evoque goes on sale, many variants will be fitted with a new 48-volt mild hybrid system.
This is is like EQ Boost found in newer models from Mercedes-Benz.
An Evoque with a 3-cylinder PHEV system will be rolled out next year.
The P250 I drove was very hushed at low speeds and its power delivery is very linear.
The throttle response is sluggish, though.
With 246hp and 365Nm on tap, the new Evoque dispatches the zero to 100kmh dash in 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 230km/h.
Interestingly, it doesn’t feel that swift due to its unruffled nature.
The only evidence of its fast pace is the increasingly loud “whooshing” noise coming from the side mirrors.
The latest Evoque is equipped with all-wheel drive that controls torque distribution between the front and rear axles to maximise traction.
Suspension wise, there is a heavily-modified strut front suspension and an integral-link rear suspension, which is derived from the Velar.
As a result, the car retains its predecessor’s agility without compromising ride comfort.
Land Rover’s brilliant Terrain Response 2 system, which is accessed via the glossy touchscreens of Touch Pro Duo system (also from the Velar), is very easy to use.
You can tap the icon that best represents the ground conditions, or leave it in “Auto” and let the electronic wizards take over.
The “Mud and Ruts” mode enabled the Evoque to overcome rocks, stones and holes of varying shapes and sizes with ease.
On another trail section with a steep downslope, I selected Hill Descent Control and adjusted the target speed to its slowest setting.
After that, all I had to do was release the brake pedal and steer. The Evoque did the rest.
If you need a good view of the road immediately ahead and underneath, you’ll like the ClearSight Ground View system.
The system employs a combined feed from cameras mounted in the front and sides.
It brings up a digital field of vision on the central touchscreen and makes it possible to “see through” the bonnet!
Inside, you’ll find that the cabin quality has been dialled up a few notches over the previous model.
Like the exterior, the cockpit is clean and tidy.
However, the scarcity of knobs, levers and buttons may take getting used to for the less tech-inclined.
There are more Velar-inspired touches, such as the pair of 10-inch touchscreens and some exquisite trim and materials.
Said materials offered include faux suede, a new eucalyptus-derived textile and Kvadrat textile which is a wool-blend premium fabric.
Another new tech gadget is the ClearSight Rear View Mirror.
At the touch of a button, the rear-view mirror becomes a display screen and shows the feed for the camera mounted at the back of the SUV.
An optional 12-inch digital display is also available in place of the conventional driver’s instrumentation cluster.
The new Evoque’s wheelbase has grown by 21cm and this increase has resulted in 20cm more knee room for occupants at the rear.
Storage-wise, the Evoque’s boot is approximately 10 percent larger.
There are numerous compartments for personal effects, including a “hidden” one directly behind the touchscreens.
I spent two days covering 560km of highways, mountain passes and off-road tracks.
I can say that Land Rover has made the right moves where quality, driving dynamics and technology are concerned.
Three petrol variants – R-Dynamic SE P200, First Edition P250 and R-Dynamic HSE P300 – will arrive in Singapore this year.
Range Rover Evoque R-Dynamic S P250 2.0 (A)
ENGINE 1997cc, 16-valves, inline-4, turbocharged
MAX POWER 246hp at 5500rpm
MAX TORQUE 365Nm at 1300-4500rpm
GEARBOX 9-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 7.5 seconds
TOP SPEED 230km/h
PRICE INCL. COE To be announced