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2012 Range Rover Evoque Starts New Footprint for Land Rover

By Arv Voss, November 12th, 2011

Land Rover's newest Range Rover model is the futuristic and stylish 2012 Evoque. The Range Rover Evoque is available in two body configurations: a coupe, or a five-door version.

Land Rover's first compact SUV was the Freelander, but the Evoque represents a new ball game; it's more car-like in both its appearance and drivability. It also possesses the characteristic off-road capabilities and prowess of its larger siblings.

The Evoque, starting at $41,145, comes in three trim levels: Pure, Prestige and Dynamic. The new Evoque's exterior styling features new interpretations of classic Range Rover design elements, including the signature clamshell hood, the floating roof and solid, athletic stance.

Unlike any of its predecessors, the Range Rover Evoque displays a very dynamic profile with its rising beltline, muscular shoulder character line running the length of the vehicle, plus a unique and distinctive rearward taper to its floating roofline. The Evoque's interior takes the strong, clean architecture and quality materials of a traditional Range Rover and applies them in a sportier, more contemporary fashion.

When starting the engine the interior displays ambient lighting in a precisely choreographed sequence. The solid aluminum rotary shifter completes the "greeting" as it rises silently into the driver's hand. A full-glass fixed panoramic roof enhances the sense of room and freedom within the spacious cabin, filling the interior with natural light, or not, as there is a full blackout screen as well. LED ambient lighting provides illumination within the cabin at night, with a range of colors that may be chosen by the driver.

strong>There are two Meridian audio systems: a standard 380W with 11 speakers, or for the true audiophile, there's an optional 825W with 17 speakers. A surround camera system is also available with five cameras -- two in the front, two sides and one rear -- for both on- and off-road scenarios.

The Evoque rides on an all-new, fully independent suspension. Evoque is 17 inches shorter, 18 inches lower and 1-inch narrower than the Range Rover Sport. The 2012 Evoque is equipped with a four mode Terrain Response System, except the Dynamic models, which employ a fifth sensing mode. The electronic steering system is new and there are other endearing features for drivers with off-roading in their blood, such as: Dynamic Stability Control; Hill Descent Control; Electronic Traction Control; Hill Hold; Roll Stability Control; Trailer Stability Assist; Gradient Release Control; and Adaptive Dynamics.

All Evoques depend upon a 2.0-liter, Direct Injected, turbocharged four-cylinder with Twin Variable Valve Timing for power. The efficient motor is powerful, delivering 240 horsepower along with an impressive 250 lb.-ft. of torque in a range from 1,750 to 4,000 rpm. The engine is to a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Normal, Sport and Manual shift modes. Motive force is transferred to all four wheels as needed via a Permanent Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

The new 2012 Evoque is pleasing to pilot both on and off-road in either the coupe or five-door configuration. The ride quality is firm, yet compliant enough to deliver comfort.

The handling characteristics provide a consistent, stable feel at both low and higher speeds. The new Range Rover Evoque is stellar in road-going (or off-road) capability features.

Specifications

Base price $41,145 (as tested: $47,745)
Displacement 2.0-liter
Epa mileage rating 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 18.5 gal.
Horsepower (net) 240 at 5500 rpm
Motor type turbocharged 4-cylinder w/DI
Overall length 171.5 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 250 at 1750-4000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Vehicle type 5-passenger 4WD compact SUV
Wheelbase 104.8 in.
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