WHEN you are replacing the best-selling car your company has ever made you need to get it right.
That was the dilemma facing Land Rover when it was time to design their next generation Evoque… and now the second series car is with us as it went on sale from late March 2019.
Your 50 Plus motors man was on the guest list for the recent UK press launch held at an impressive castle on the border of Wales and England.
Those ever-so-nice people at Land Rover provided every version of the new car for us motoring hacks to try out both on road and off and a great day was had by all.
I have to say I know the old Evoque well as she-who-must-be-obeyed is on her second one, which she loves.
And, I have to say, at first sight the ‘all new’ model does not look radically different – which is no bad thing for, as the old saying goes, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’.
This new car is slightly better in every way, performance, handling, equipment, economy and value for money and it has acquired quite a few features from its hugely-successful big brother the Velar including similar rear lights, the same retractable door handles and a multi-screen dashboard set up.
Also there is a bit of kit which has to be one of the coolest things I have seen on a new car for many years. The rear view mirror changes at the flick of a switch to a rear view screen linked to a camera mounted at the back of the roof-mounted aerial. This great idea is standard on higher spec models and an optional extra on entry level cars and gives a better view than through the rear window – which can also be obstructed sometimes by rear passengers, luggage or a dirty rear screen.
As well as getting to drive the new car we were also taken to Halewood on Merseyside to see it being made.
The original Evoque, which was launched in 2011, has been Land Rover’s biggest seller ever with almost 800,000 made. During that time the car has earnt an estimated 17 billion pounds for UK plc as eighty per cent of production was for export.
Now the new cars are coming off the impressive high-tech production lines at the rate of one every 92 seconds – 24/7 five days a week. And what is truly amazing is that from the first pressing out of steel panels for the chassis the customer’s name is on the car with every component being added also tagged for that specific vehicle. This allows a huge choice of different options making almost every car that comes out of the factory unique in some way.
In fact Land Rover offer the chance to see your own car being made during an eight hour shift (at a cost of £295) and you can even be the first person to press the start button and drive it out of the door!
Engine wise there are now more choices between three and four cylinder petrol and diesel engines, hybrid electric power with a 48-volt MHEV plus a three cylinder PHEV version.
The great off road capability of the 4×4 versions (base models can still be ordered in FWD only) has been further enhanced with Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system and we got to put that technology to the test on the challenging off road course at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire wading through deep streams and up and down steep muddy slopes with ease.
Price wise things are pretty much the same as the old model with entry level FWD diesel 150bhp models starting at £31,600 right up to the performance P300 version which is an AWD auto starting from £40,350 on the road.
So have Land Rover pulled it off? Well time will tell but I would say we will be seeing lots of new Evoques on our roads… just like the old one it is a great car.
By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth