When the first Range Rover Evoque was shown to the world, it really brought back the small SUV back in vogue; and obviously that’s one of the reasons that name was specifically chosen. By 2018, this all-new version, effective a second stab at formula, attempts to improve upon the original in every measurable way.
That said, it’s quite unlikely that the folks at Land Rover will be successful in making the car quite as revolutionary as its predecessor, which had a profound effect on the perception of the brand as well as setting the bar for aesthetics across all its models. This explains why, when taken in side by side with the rest of the company’s portfolio of SUVs, LR can be accused of too much uniformity.
Think of this second generation Evoque as much more an evolution, then, and it frames it in a flattering light. Design-wise, it’s much like the outgoing car with plenty of newer touches strewn about and very evident in its front and rear end fascias, borrowing particularly from the Range Rover Velar. Still, Land Rover are claiming that 99.9% of the all-new Evoque are, in fact, all new.
Much of the progress made by Jaguar Land Rover in the years since the first Evoque’s appearance have been in cabin quality, technology, and powertrains, and it serves to make this second-generation model a far more rounded product. Being a consummate small SUV is what it needs to accomplish with new and tenacious rivals such as the Volvo XC40 and BMW X2.
Sitting on the PTA (Premium Transverse Architecture) platform that’s also shared with the similarly sized Jaguar E-Pace, the 2019 Evoque sits 11mm lower than before and has grown 10mm wider on a wheelbase that’s extended by 21mm. These alone should result in better handling, a larger cabin, and improved fuel economy, though the consumption numbers are much more impacted by the new engines on offer.
Specifically because there has been a large focus on making the Evoque electrified on some level, this all-new is leaps more efficient to operate despite weighing very similarly to its predecessor and despite various weight saving materials integrated into its construction.
Nearly all variants will incorporate a 48 Volt architecture that’s primary supplemented by an electric generator tethered to its 2.0-litre Ingenium engine - petrol or diesel - and in certain permutations uses an 11kW battery situated beneath the vehicle floor to store the resulting charge.
The motor and battery are also programmed to aid the 184kW turbo-petrol motor whenever necessary, further boosting city driving fuel economy, and is able to provide additional torque to supplement the ICE’s own pulling power when needed, particularly to help reduce any turbo lag. The same will presumably apply to both the 110kW and 125kW flavours of the turbo-diesel Ingenium unit as well.
While this system is far less aggressive than a traditional parallel hybrid, the Evoque does lean on its start-stop system rather heavily and tuning that aforementioned generator to be able to restart the engine in a little more than half a second.
Further down the road, Land Rover expects to roll out PHEV version with a larger battery and a system output of 149kW through an 80kW electric motor and a 1.5-litre three-pot turbo-petrol. Nevertheless, power for every variant will funnelled through a ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic transmission. After making its debut in the current Range Rover full-sizer, Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 adaptive off-road drive management system comes to the baby of the family.
Inside, there’s even more elements taken from the Range Rover Velar, giving the new Evoque an air of luxury and design cohesiveness the older model just cannot match. Immediately evident is the lack of clutter and unnecessary ornamentation as three primary screens are made responsible for nearly all in-car input. Apart from the steering wheel controls, engine start button, and indicator stalks, only three rotary knobs for the climate control system remain as analogue toggles.
Following this UK premiere, Land Rover Australia expects the all-new Evoque to makes its way Down Under in Q2 of 2019 with prices set to start at $64,640 before on-road costs.