Range Rover Evoque gets hybrid tech to cut emissions

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The new Evoque has a smoother exterior with integrated door handles.

LONDON – Land Rover adds fuel-saving plug-in and mild hybrid powertrains to the new generation Range Rover Evoque, which was unveiled here on Thursday.

The coupe-style SUV retains the distinctive design of the current model with its rising waistline and slim rear window while adding a whole new set of technology.

The Evoque has been a success since its introduction in 2010 with just over 772,096 units that have been built so far. Last year, the car was the number 2 seller of Jaguar Land Rover after the Discovery Sport with a worldwide sales of more than 100,000.

The Evoque "transformed the world of compact SUVs at its debut and the new model will continue that remarkable journey," said Land Rover Chief Designer Gerry McGovern at the unveiling.

The Evoque now has a smoother exterior with integrated door handles that reflect the style of the larger Range Rover Velar.

Land Rover dropped the three-door version of the Evoque after demand fell to about 3 percent of the total volume.

The Evoque is offered in Europe with three diesel and three petrol engines with four cylinders of 2.0 liters.

Hybrid powertrains

The Evoque joins the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover in plug-in hybrid options. Land Rover will add a 300-volt plug-in hybrid by the end of next year. The company has connected an electric motor to a new three-cylinder petrol engine that will reduce CO2 emissions to less than 45 grams per km, according to the company.

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The Evoque retains the distinctive design with its rising waist and slim rear window.

The four-wheel drive versions of the Evoque will be available with a 48-volt mild hybrid that adds a belt-driven starter-generator to waste energy that is lost during braking and to add electrical assistance during acceleration.

The engine is also switched off at speeds of 17 km / h (11 mph) to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. The most fuel-efficient version of a mild hybrid diesel engine has a CO2 emission of 149 g / km, says Land Rover.

Electrification is the key to reducing the CO2 levels of JLR below the agreed 135 g / km mean needed to avoid penalties, when the European Union introduces stricter limits for CO2 emissions for new vehicles in 2020/21.

The average European emissions of JLR is currently 178 g / km, the company said earlier this year. JLR said last year that every new model with electrified options will come from 2020.

The Evoque import is a 148-horsepower diesel with two wheels and starts in the UK with 31,600 pounds ($ 40,500). In Germany, prices start at 37,350 euros.

The most powerful option is a petrol with a capacity of 296 hp. The Evoque remains available with an automatic transmission with nine gears.

More space, more technology

The latest Evoque is built on an update of the steel platform of the current model. JLR now calls Premium Transverse Architecture. The company said that the Evoque is similar in length to the 4370 mm long outgoing model, but has a longer wheelbase for more cabin room. The new platform is also stiffer to offer better road handling, Land Rover said.

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New technology includes a camera system that gives the driver a front view of the dashboard, creating the effect of looking through the hood of the car. Called "Ground View", it is useful when parking or off-road driving, Land Rover said.

Also available is a screen mounted on the windshield to replace the rearview mirror to give a wider view behind the car, similar to the system used by Cadillac.

The Evoque is available with the same Touch Pro Duo with two screens, as used by the Velar, which places two 10-inch touchscreens on top of each other on the central dashboard. Safety technology includes radar-assisted adaptive cruise control with a steering assistance function that centers the car within its lane.

The cab can be cut into a range of high-quality fabrics designed to give a premium feel without having to specify the leather. They include Kvadrat wool blends and Dinamica, a suede substitute.

Land Rover began receiving orders for the new Evoque on Thursday with the first cars that will be delivered early next year in the UK and the rest of Europe. Other markets, such as the US and China, will follow later, the company said, without mentioning a specific date.