With two bodystyles, three design themes and three turbocharged four- cylinder engine choices, Range Rover's new Evoque range is not only the most diverse in the luxury four-wheel-drive maker's line up, but also the least expensive, starting at $79,990 when it arrives in New Zealand before the end of the year.
A five-door hatch will be the staple body design for the Evoque, while the slightly lower-slung three-door version is labelled by its maker as a "coupe".
All Evoque engine and body combinations will be available in a choice of three design themes: Pure, Dynamic and Prestige. An array of personalising and customising options and accessories will be available from the time of its November launch in New Zealand. Those available will include three contrasting roof treatments, seven alloy wheel designs, 16 contrasting interiors and a full-sized, fixed, panoramic glass roof.
The diesel Evoque will be offered with two versions of the 2.2-litre engine already used by partners Jaguar in their recently revised XF sedan range. The DOHC turbodiesel transverse- mounted fours will have outputs of either 110 kilowatts (TD4) or 140kW (SD4 model). A further diesel model is to be made available to special customer indent in the form of the two- wheel-drive eD4 variant with the same 110kW turbodiesel used in four-wheel-drive Evoque but with a lower 130 grams per kilometre CO2 emissions rating, against the 4WD model's 174g per km.
The Si4 Evoque's turbocharged petrol engine is a direct-injected 2.0-litre DOHC 16-valve unit, which uses twin variable valve timing to produce a hefty 177kW, which is sufficient to propel the Evoque to 100kmh in 7.6 seconds, according to early road test results. The power unit was developed for several years and can be linked to the EcoBoost units already used successfully in various United States and European Ford products, along with the petrol power unit employed in Volvo's S, V and XC60 models. The Australian Falcon model is to enjoy the use of a north-south mounted rear- wheel-drive version from 2012.
All New Zealand Evoques will come with six-speed automatics and 4WD as standard, though a manual gearbox will be available to specific customer order. Standard equipment includes: push-button starting, electric park brake, rear parking aid, colour TFT information screen, and adjustable electric seats.
Apart from a slicker, 30 millimetre lower roofline, the main difference the Coupe brings is individual rear seating for two, while the five-door has a three- seater bench, which can be ordered by Coupe aspirants if they wish. The taller five-door model places its rear occupants slightly higher and affords them better head and shoulder room.
Once the engine and body choices have been made, there are still the three design styles to pick.
The Pure pack is a clean, simple contemporary look distinguished by a black tailgate badge, high-gloss black detailing across the tailgate and along the waistline, a dark "Atlas" finish to the grille, and side fender blades and, on the Coupe version, bonnet louvres. Pure models also come with 17-inch sparkle silver alloy wheels and LED front fog lamps.
Inside, leather/dinamica recycled polyester upholstery and satin aluminium is used, while standard kit includes a five-inch colour audio display and eight- speaker sound system, a colour TFT driver information centre, climate air, and an Oxford leather- trimmed steering wheel. Standard systems include hill launch assist, hill descent control, rear parking sensors, and on 4WD versions, a terrain response to help set up the vehicle for various off-road duties.
The Evoque Dynamic is recognised by its deeper body colour sills and bumpers and unique exhaust treatment, black- finished mirrors, grille and side fender blades and red Evoque tailgate badgework. It also runs on 19-inch sparkle silver rims.
The sporting theme is carried on inside, with aluminium pedal covers, the textured metal finished centre console and perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel rim. An eight-inch high-resolution touch screen controls a 380-watt Meridian Sound system with 10 speakers and two USB ports and allows control of interior mood lighting.
The Evoque Prestige model has brighter exterior detailing, a silver tailgate badge and 19-inch diamond turned alloys. Inside, there's an Oxford full leather trim, a selection of wood finishes, tailored carpet mats and chrome tread plates and the same touch- screen and sound system as the Dynamic model.
Prestige models benefit from xenon headlamps with signature LED lighting.
The 110kW Evoque TD4 Pure is $79,990; the 140kW SD4 and 177kW Si4 are $86,490.
The three-door Coupe adds $2000, the Dynamic theme a further $16,500 and Prestige $18,000.