2020 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque First Drive Review
The Evoque solidifies its place as the Range Rover of its segment
I click my seatbelt and remember Paul Newman’s famous line from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. “The fall’ll probably kill ya,” the legendary actor and racer, playing equally legendary outlaw Butch Cassidy, tells co-star Robert Redford’s aquaphobic Sundance Kid before they prepare to jump off a cliff into a rampaging river.
‘less is more’ is a popular phrase used in design, but often it is not accurate. the 2020 range rover evoque is larger, has more advanced driver assistance technologies and off-road capabilities than previously, yet its design, especially the exterior, epitomizes this minimalist philosophy. an angular greenhouse, high waistline and smooth surfaces distinguish a vision of modernity that extends into the interior and the experience overall.
from athens to porto heli, designboom drove the new model across greece. from climbing treacherous mountain tracks down to cruising along seaside roads, we drove past – and across in the case of the corinth canal – many engineering triumphs whilst in a marvel of our own.
‘it is clearly an evoque’ illustrates gerry mcgovern, chief design officer, land rover, on our first look at the 2020 model. under his guidance, range rovers display order and discipline with their precise proportions, and the new evoque continues this with its renowned coupe-like silhouette. with a dramatically contrasting greenhouse, the rapidly sloping roofline seemingly floats above the rising waistline on the body below. its clean surfaces are sculptured with reduced lines and carefully considered details, such as the narrow headlights, embellished side-vents and, even, door handles that lie flush with the body when moving.
the principles of order, minimalism and modernity magnify into to the interior as well. the clean, clear cockpit is defined by its central panel – upholstered in a kvadrat wool, recycled plastic textile or eucalyptus fabric – which is then topped by a thin trim and an equally as slim strip of air-vents. all attention becomes focused on two touchscreens: the smaller one lies flush with the central panel until rotating to face the occupants when the car starts; the lower screen is curved to fit its steep architecture and align with the gear selector. the spaciousness of the tailored cabin is accentuated further with more room for rear passengers, luggage space and storage for small items too.
the 2020 edition is available with an all-new 48-volt 296hp mild-hybrid powertrain alongside the 246hp ingenium four-cylinder petrol engine that designboom test drove in greece. it enhances a premium transverse architecture that explains the quiet, smooth drive along the slaloming seaside roads, wide freeways and bustling urban centers. this comfort and elegant driving and passenger experience is completed with a whole host of assistance technologies, which includes adaptive cruise control with steering assist, active safety features and, most intriguingly, the ‘clearsight rear-view mirror’ that transforms into a video screen.
with so much refinement in its pursuit for design elegance, it is important to stress the model’s equal yet uncompromising capabilities on- and off-road. it enhances many groundbreaking and range rover-firsts in terms of technologies. ‘clearsight ground view’ technology uses cameras to create a 180 degree view of the ground below the elongated hood, and project it onto the upper touchscreen. systems, such as the terrain response 2 that automatically selects the best setting, ensures the driver has a relationship of absolute trust with the car – even when climbing the steepest of inclines.
‘it is a bold evolution’ concludes mcgovern. the small SUV is all-new but, as was the wish of range rover customers, the previous model has been subtly refined rather than completely redesigned. the 2020 range rover evoque is unmistakable in its appearance and performance; once again, it’s an object of desire and one that will be as greatly loved.
brand: range rover
Price: from $42,650 USD
Available: Spring 2019