Faced with more restrictive CO2 emissions regulations in Europe, Land Rover looks to downsize its vehicle lineup, using the new Evoque to introduce a four-cylinder engine to its lineup. In keeping with its premium SUV reputation, the Evoque's engine is very advanced, using direct injection and turbocharging to create 240 horsepower from its 2 liters of displacement.
Land Rover introduced the first version of the Evoque, a three-door coupe, in Europe. But that version would likely be considered too small in the U.S., so the company developed and launched this five-door version, more in keeping with traditional small SUV design, at the 2010 Los Angeles auto show.
As a new, smaller Land Rover, we might expect the Evoque to lack the off-road equipment of its bigger brothers. But the Evoque comes similarly equipped to even the large Range Rover, with four-wheel-drive, locking differentials, and a system that lets the driver dial in traction control for different types of terrain.
The Evoque can be had with a magnetic suspension technology to improve stability. This system uses rheological fluid in the shocks, changing its viscosity with electromagnets to increase or decrease suspension rigidity.
The nicely appointed interior comes up to the luxury level one would expect in a car with a base price of $45,000. As a completely new vehicle, Land Rover was also able to include the latest tech features.
The Evoque borrows the shift dial concept pioneered in the Jaguar XF, made by Land Rover's sister company. Land Rover has also restyled its terrain selection system, using a strip of icons and arrow buttons rather than the dial seen in other models.
Land Rover keeps the amount of buttons around the LCD to a minimum, relying on the touch screen for most functions. The Evoque can be had with the around-view camera system seen on other Land Rover models.