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Range Rover Evoque set for Sydney

Here it comes: Range Rover's new compact Evoque is destined for Australia with 'Hello Sydney' signage - and will make its local debut at October's Sydney show.

Land Rover says ‘Hello Sydney’ with all-new Evoque as final-phase testing begins

Land Rover logo15 Jul 2010

By TERRY MARTIN

AFTER revealing the production version of its all-new compact Range Rover – the Evoque – earlier this month, Land Rover has heralded final-phase testing for the crucial model with a range of camouflaged, but highly visible, prototypes representing 10 markets for the brand, including Australia.

Notwithstanding that the Evoque is not due to be launched here until late in the third quarter of 2011, Land Rover unveiled a prototype overnight brandishing ‘Hello Sydney’ on the three-door version’s big front doors and is expected to be seen in the Harbour City in the coming weeks.

GoAuto also has confirmation from Land Rover Australia that the final-form Evoque is set to make its Australian debut at the Sydney motor show in October, just weeks after its world premiere at the Paris motor show.

"Paris motor show will be the official global release of the Range Rover Evoque (but) as one of the 10 key global markets, Land Rover Australia's intention is to display an Evoque at Sydney," a spokesperson said.

Although there is no secret about the vehicle’s design, Land Rover said more than 17,000 individual tests were still to be completed on all components and systems in its global test program, which once completed will have covered millions of kilometres in “extreme endurance conditions”.

Australia is recognised as a key development country, and Sydney’s inclusion in the exclusive “funky camouflage wraps” – which are in the design of a GPS mapping trail of the 10 key cities – reinforces the importance the Tata Motors-owned British off-road brand is placing on this market.

24 center imageIn a statement, Land Rover said hundreds of prototype models – none of which, in the photographs at least, show the model in five-door configuration – have been dispatched around the globe, including Australia, “for trial in the toughest climates and conditions”.

“Ordinarily prototypes are disguised for discretion, but these 10 are intended to be seen,” the company said.

“These unmissable vehicles represent London, New York, Sao Paulo, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Berlin, Sydney, Shanghai and Moscow and will all be spotted testing around the globe.

“They are just a small proportion of the hundreds of pre-production cars that will be rigorously evaluated over millions of miles to ensure the new Range Rover Evoque surpasses the highest standards of quality and reliability when it goes on sale in (the northern hemisphere) summer 2011.”

Land Rover said teams of engineers will travel to 20 countries to pit the Range Rover Evoque against “the most extreme conditions on earth”, ranging from the Arctic to the desert, from German autobahns to Tokyo city traffic.

Alongside the engineers, 120 component suppliers are also carrying out in excess of 17,000 individual tests to examine every separate part and system.

Land Rover programs director Murray Dietsch said: “The development stage is crucial in the year leading up to launching the car.

“No stone is left unturned. We have a team of experienced and skilled engineers who will work to a tight schedule to ensure we have a top quality vehicle to offer our customers.”

Heralded as the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient model Land Rover has ever offered, the Evoque will be sold in 160 markets around the world.

As GoAuto has reported, the Volkswagen Golf-sized Evoque will go on sale initially as a three-door all-wheel drive, most likely powered by the Freelander’s PSA-sourced 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine matched with the first manual transmission in a Range Rover since 2002 – at least in Europe.

The AWD diesel Evoque should return average CO2 emissions of around 140g/km, but the front-drive version that follows will lower that to less than 130g/km.

Eventually, however, the Evoque is also expected to be available as a plug-in hybrid.

Land Rover has confirmed its first diesel-electric hybrid model will become available in Europe in 2012, before hitting European roads in 2013 – based on the Rangie Sport. Land Rover says it will test its first diesel hybrid prototype, called the 'range_e', by the end of this year.

With an upgraded version of Land Rover’s existing 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine aided by a circa-25kW electric motor and matched with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, the hybrid Rangie Sport’s goals are to achieve a driving range of 32km using electric power only, emit less than 100g/km of CO2 and to accelerate to a top speed of around 190km/h.

European reports suggest the Evoque will match the diesel-electric Range Rover Sport ‘range_e’ by being fitted with a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain by 2015.

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