Since its launch in 2010, the Range Rover Evoque has gone on to shift 770,000 units globally, making it one of JLR’s most important models, bringing Range Rover ownership to a younger demographic and lower entry price point.
Jaguar LandRover (JLR), has packed the 2019 Evoque with new interior tech, and platform readiness for hybrid EV down the line. The new Evoque is the first Land Rover model with algorithm-based Smart Settings, which the company describes as an “onboard butler”. These can learn and remember different drivers favoured seat and steering positions as well as music and climate settings, as well as steering column position preferences.
Owners of older Mercedes and BMWs might be surprised to learn such “memory seats” are considered high tech, but the ability to remember music and climate preferences is more inline with the kind of data driven services that consumers are choosing for their homes.
Perhaps most significant are two new features that improve visibility for drivers and provide clues to future autonomy for JLR vehicles. The Evoque sees the first commercial application of Land Rover’s Transparent Bonnet technology first demonstrated in 2014. Rebranded Ground View technology, it effectively makes the bonnet invisible by projecting camera imagery onto the upper touchscreen to show the driver a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle. This is useful when negotiating difficult parking spaces, navigating high city centre kerbs or tackling rough terrain, says the company.
There is also a new ‘ClearSight rear-view mirror’ that transforms into an HD video screen. “If rear visibility is compromised by passengers or bulky items, the driver flicks a switch on the underside of the mirror and a camera feed from the top of the car displays what is behind the vehicle in crisp high definition. The screen provides a wider (50-degree) field of vision and superior visibility in low light.” says JLR in a media release.
A new platform architecture has been developed with electrification in mind, with a 48-volt mild-hybrid available at launch and a plug-in hybrid model too be offered around 12 months afterwards.
The mild hybrid powertrain is a first for Land Rover and works by harvesting energy normally lost during deceleration thanks to the engine-mounted belt-integrated starter generator, storing it in the under-floor battery. At speeds below 11mph (17km/h), the engine will shut off while the driver applies the brakes. When pulling away, the stored energy is redeployed to assist the engine under acceleration and reduce fuel consumption.
JLR says it has invested £1 billion in the design and development of the new Evoque, which includes £110 million into the company’s UK manufacturing plant, to develop a flexible manufacturing facility.