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Geneva show: Range Rover’s sportiest Evoque

Sporty spice: A 210kW turbo-petrol engine and chassis tweaks combine to make the Autobiography Dynamic the sportiest Evoque ever, but it is on the slow train to Australia with no launch until late-2015.

Long wait for new Range Rover Evoque flagship but upgraded regular range now on sale

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Land Rover logo20 Feb 2014

By TERRY MARTIN

LAND Rover has revealed a new flagship Range Rover Evoque model with a petrol engine performance boost and sportier credentials overall ahead of its debut at the Geneva motor show next month.

Potential Australian buyers will, however, have to wait until the final quarter of 2015 before it is launched here, with Land Rover Australia confirming to GoAuto this week that the so-called Autobiography Dynamic will be released to larger markets such as the UK and the US first before being rolled out to other countries.

The new model is dubbed the “most performance-focused” Evoque the British off-road brand has ever produced, with its Ford-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder engine developing 210kW of power (up 33kW) and 400Nm of torque (up 60Nm).

Acceleration and other performance benchmarks are still to be provided, but the hottest-ever Evoque is certain to improve on the current model’s 0-100km/h time of 7.6 seconds, driving through a revised version of the ZF-sourced nine-speed automatic transmission and an ‘Active Driveline’ four-wheel-drive system.

A mid-life facelift of the Evoque has just landed in Australia, bringing with it the nine-speed auto (sans the Autobiography Dynamic tweaks) as well as the new ‘Active Driveline’ on-demand system, which replaces the previous permanent 4WD set-up.

Land Rover says the Autobiography Dynamic also has specially tuned steering “for additional on-centre precision” and that the chassis has upgraded suspension geometry, firmer spring rates and recalibrated adaptive dampers designed to increase agility and turn-in response.

Upgraded 350mm-diamater front brake discs have been fitted, along with 20-inch forged alloy wheels and a ‘Torque Vectoring by Braking’ (TVB) system that is meant to help reduce understeer on both high- and low-grip surfaces.

In a first for the brand, the Autobiography Dynamic also comes with a more advanced version of Land Rover’s ‘InControl’ connectivity system that enables vehicle-optimised smartphone apps to be displayed and controlled “with their original look and feel” from the vehicle’s touchscreen.

Other cabin enhancements include unique leather upholstery, the choice of either sports or premium front seats and ‘Autobiography’ decals on the (embossed) headrests and (illuminated) tread-plates.

As well as the big wheels, the exterior comes with a range of body adornments – a new grille design and lower front valance, jewel-like headlights and tail-lights, for example – and ‘Autobiography’ ingot badging on the tailgate and front wing vents.

A new ‘phoenix orange’ premium metallic body colour also debuts on the sports model.

In addition to the nine-speed auto and revised 4WD system, the MY14 Evoque now available in Australia has a number of new driver-assist systems on offer (depending on the variant) including ‘Park Exit’ (to automatically exit parallel parking bays), ‘Perpendicular Park’ (to position the SUV centrally in parking bays), ‘Closing Vehicle Sensing’ and ‘Reverse Traffic Detection’ (to warn drivers of oncoming traffic), ‘Lane Departure Warning’, ‘Traffic Sign Recognition’ and, for off-road situations, ‘Wade Sensing’.

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