1 Nov 2011
LAND ROVER launched a unique proposition upon the Australian SUV market with its striking pint-sized but highly luxurious and off-road ready Evoque.
Not just a pretty face, for beneath the bold styling that remained faithful to the 2008 LRX concept the Evoque was thoroughly engineered to deliver a both spirited on-road drive and surprising levels of off-road competence.
The Evoque was available from launch in four-wheel drive only, powered by a choice of 110kW TD4 and 140kW SD4 turbo-diesels with either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions plus an auto-only 177kW Si4 turbo-petrol that could haul it from rest to 100km/h in a brisk 7.6 seconds.
Three trim levels were also available – all of which got their own unique external and internal styling themes – comprised entry-level Pure, sporty Dynamic and luxurious Prestige.
The final piece in the Evoque configuration puzzle was a choice of practical five-door or concept car-faithful three-door coupe body styles, with the latter priced $1500 higher than the former.
A five-door, manual transmission TD4 Evoque in Pure trim opened the range but indulging in the options list could easily see the sub-$54,000 starting price double, for the Evoque was available with plenty of interior/exterior customisation potential and just as much on-board technology as its larger Sport and Vogue siblings.
Inside the Evoque lived up to its Range Rover branding, with a luxurious cabin constructed of quality materials and majoring on brushed or textured aluminium combined with plush leather and state-of-the-art gadgetry.
A sell-out success even before its launch, with 280 pre-orders snapped up well ahead of its Australian showroom arrival and a six-month waiting list for built-to-order cars, the Evoque's allure and exclusivity made it the car to be seen in during the southern summer of 2011/2012.
The 2.2-litre turbo diesel found in Land Rover’s Freelander2 produced 110kW and 400Nm in TD4 guise and 140kW/420Nm in the SD4 version, while the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder produced 177kW and 340Nm.
Combined fuel economy for the diesels was 5.7 litres per 100km for the manual or 6.5L/100km for the automatic, while the auto-only petrol returned 8.7L/100km.
Respective CO2 outputs were 149 grams per kilometre, 174g/km or 199g/km, with the big efficiency gains for manual diesels achieved with the addition of idle-stop technology.