None of the Range Rover cars have evoked (forgive the pun) such response across the world as the new Range Rover Evoque. Except for the Chevy Beat, I don’t remember much of the concept cars making it to production in the same format. It was perceived as a designer’s figment of imagination way back in the North American International Auto Show. However when Landy finally made this car, people were aghast to know that it had retained its form and the only change was in the badging from Land Roer to Range Rover. This car is Range Rover’s answer to former owner BMW by creating a BMW X1 rival and also Audi’s upcoming Q3 SUV. If its size is an indication, Range Rover call it the smallest SUV in their range. Since Range Rover are present in India, it is but natural that the Range Rover Evoque would make its presence felt in here sooner than later. Moreso now because Indian auto major Tata Motors are the owners of it. Tata Motors have ensured that Jaguar Land Rover get a fair deal while coming to India and so have localized some of the components inside the cars to make them better priced than their peers. Here is a preview of what to expect from the Range Rover Evoque in India. A review or test drive of the Range Rover Evoque would follow once the vehicle is launched in India.
The look of the Range Rover would definitely be the face of the upcoming Land Rover vehicles or even the Range Rover ones. In inner Range Rover circles, it is called as a Coupe Utility Vehicle. The twin horizontally inclined grille piece with the Range Rover name written above it feels as solid as it can be. Moreover, the sharply angled head lamps along with the crystalline fog lamps ensure that one doesn’t miss this vehicle for anything else. The skid plate is also not the usual white faced aluminium one and is in fact a matt brushed black effect one. The snout is long however the coupe like sloping roof line and a very steep one at that would create a doubt in many minds whether this vehicle is upto the task or not as far as interior space goes, Well, we would come to that in a short while. Coming to the sides, one would notice the two door configuration. Don’t worry, this car can seat 4 in quite some comfort. The 19 inch alloys with their split alloy design are sure to elicit “wow” responses from everyone. The rear of the Evoque has a small windscreen akin to the ones found in sports cars. The tail lamp treatment however disappoints with its usual Land Rover treatment however what would be a new one in the industry sector would be the LED reflectors on the bumpers. Peeping beneath the bumper are two tail pipes.
Coming to the interiors of this car, there is a general feeling that this car seems to have taken Volvo cues as far as interior upholstery is concerned. The exterior designing cues would actually make people want to try out the interiors. Well, they certainly don’t disappoint after the paranormal show outside. Volvo has inspired Range Rover by getting on the floating waterfall console into picture and featuring similar materials. The meter dials however are a bit of a let down with theirs being in the traditional fashion. The 3 spoke steering wheel is also made in a swoopy fashion and is not a typical Range Rover unit. Fit and finish are said to be of top order and the Range Rover Evoque in India would carry forward the same theme as found in its European counterparts. Jaguar style whirring gear lever makes its presence felt in this Range Rover now. Tons of equipment are on offer with an 8 inch touch screen navigation system taking center stage. The seats are done in a similar fashion like the ones usually found in Volvo cars. The seats are said to be real cushions up in the front while the rear ones are sofas albeit captain chair style. Leg room is available in plenty and while there might be debates about the lack of the headroom space, there is a massive panoramic sunroof which is part of the standard equipment. Boot space of 460 liters however cannot be multiplied since the second row of seats cannot be split. Obviously parking sensors are also a reverse camera are standard fare given the small windscreen aperture. A feeling of claustrophobia might set in inside this cabin however the sunroof makes up for it.
The designers in Range Rover had to meet a tight brief wherein they were informed that this vehicle should be made as compact as possible. Taking the existing Freelander platform helped things with the designers now having to compress it to make it a smaller SUV than the Freelander and thus avoiding overlapping of sales. The Range Rover Evoque in India would get a 70 liters fuel tank and this fuel tank has been packaged in an unconventional way thus making for a typical Range Rover ground clearance. Moreover fitment of 20 inch wheels later on wouldn’t also be impeded as the wheel arches are highly flared ones. The dampers on this car are fitted with MagneRide which was first used in the Audi TT car. Suspended magnetic particles inside the shock absorber fluid change their alteration or alignment once the Terrain Management system inside the car detects a change in the surface that it is traveling upon. This is achieved via the electrical pulses that the Terrain Management System sends across. Rebound as also damping are said to be far better than the BMW X1 and the yet to debut Audi Q3. There are 3 ratios to select from the Terrain Response Management system and those are the comfort, dynamic and sport. Evoque is the first SUV from Range Rover to be offered with a choice of which wheels would be driven. In short, the vehicle is offered in 2 wheel drive guise whereas 4 wheel drive is available as an option. The former is more for those markets where off-roading doesn’t take precedence over fuel efficiency. The off-roading manual of the Terrain Response System boasts of 4 different modes. Low ratio however isn’t available even in the 4×4 variant. The ground clearance of more than 212 mm doesn’t mean that highway stability would be compromised. Range Rover have provided this SUV with a Stability program module which is said to be far better than that of all the road going vehicles in the world. The hill descent system gets an adjuster which would actually adjust the speed of descent, electronically. Even in icy conditions, without losing traction, the Range Rover can climb up steep inclines. Moreover, a built in failure protection system is also present which makes the Evoque to go at a maximum speed of only 5 kmph incase the Evoque cannot find traction and slides back. NVH has also being nicely done with the thick pillars of the Evoque making for a good sound cushion. The Evoque however isn’t an easy car to drive around with its lack of good visibility all around. The steering wheel is said to be a delight to use with its directness.
Two 4 cylinder engines with three different power outputs is what the Range Rover Evoque in India promises. The compact engine bay of the Evoque doesn’t allow for shoehorning a V6 motor and hence the 4 cylinder engines were used. The diesel engine which is codenamed as eD4 I one of the smallest engines and specifically diesel one which Range Rover has made. Needless to say, it is also the lightest. For India, this diesel would be available in 2 power outputs, the 148 Bhp one with 380 Nm of torque and the front wheels to drive while the second power output would get 188 Bhp and 420 Nm of torque plus 4 wheel drive. Both the diesel and petrol engines would get a 6 speed manual transmissions as standard with the only exception being the more powerful diesel which comes with a 6 speed automatic as standard. The latter engine is also shared with the upcoming Jaguar XF. The same set of features which can be found in the Jaguar like brake regeneration, start stop and good NVH characteristics.
The 2.0 liter petrol engine features direct injection technology, all aluminium alloy built, twin balancers, variable valve timing and finally a turbocharger. It brings in 238 Bhp of power and 340 Nm of torque to go with it. The lesser powered diesel engine is said to be make a flat dash from 0-100 kmph in only 10 seconds. Fuel efficiency is said to be in double digit figures for all the engines though and this would mean that this would be one of the most fuel efficient Range Rover in India. Not only would the Range Rover Evoque in India evoke the right responses but it will also bring in more moolah and brand recognition to Range Rover which has been fumbling with the introduction of the BMW X1 and would be more at tenterhooks with the introduction of the Audi Q3. The key thing would be the pricing of this car. In UK, the Range Rover Evoke would be price close to Rs 20,000 for the top end diesel. In India however expect the Range Rover to be slightly more pricier than the BMW X1. Talks are on that Range Rover would be producing the Evoque in India however there is still no clarity on this part. The Range Rover Evoque price in India would be around Rs 25 lakhs. This is just the expected price and once the SUV comes in here, maybe by the middle of next year, more light would be shed on its pricing policy. Seems like the British are out to take the Germans and the fight seems to be happening right now in neutral grounds – India.