Jaguar Land Rover is bringing its 2020 Range Rover Evoque to the U.S. with a 48-volt mild hybrid powertrain and suite of advanced off-road equipment.
The compact SUV made its stateside debut at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show on Thursday. Pricing for the 2020 Evoque starts at $42,650 before destination fees. It goes on sale in the spring.
The Evoque is the smallest vehicle in the Range Rover lineup, aimed at urban professionals and families. But it is also equipped with a number of features for adventuring. The Evoque has compact dimensions, a terrain-management system and cameras designed to enhance off-road visibility.
“If it’s got a Land Rover badge, it starts with the right geometry to make a capable car,” Pete Simkin, chief engineer of the Evoque, told Trucks.com.
NEW MILD HYBRID
The 2020 Evoque is available in a choice of two powertrains. The first is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 246 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission made by German supplier ZF Friedrichshafen.
The second powertrain combines the 2.0-liter engine with a mild hybrid-electric system, which increases the Evoque’s muscle to 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
The chief purpose of the mild hybrid, however, is to store electric energy using regenerative braking in a 48-volt battery mounted under the floor of the SUV. At speeds under 11 mph the system allows the engine to shut off to conserve fuel. The stored energy is then used to supplement the engine power when the Evoque accelerates again.
The system works similarly to the mild hybrid on certain Ram 1500 pickup trucks. The stored electric power allows the Evoque’s engine start-stop system to transition more smoothly and last longer. It is the first application of such technology for the British automaker.
The standard engine comes with the Evoque S, SE and First Edition trims. The mild hybrid is available on R-Dynamic S, R-Dynamic SE and R-Dynamic HSE.
New technology also enhances the new Evoque’s off-road ability. The crossover comes with a Terrain Response 2 system that has five driving modes, depending on the terrain. The rear wheels can fully disengage under easy driving and quickly re-engage when more traction is needed.
An optional intelligent suspension uses sensors to adjust the dampers based on road conditions. An electronic torque-vectoring system that balances torque from the front to rear axles for enhanced grip is also available.
The Evoque comes with hill-descent control. All-Terrain Progress Control, new for the Evoque, allows drivers to set a desired off-road speed, similar to systems from Ford and Toyota.
“Just hit the button,” Simkin said. “Whether you’re bogged down in mud or sand, it will get you out.”
ClearSight Ground View
An innovative technology called ClearSight Ground View uses cameras to project the road directly under the vehicle as if the front end were invisible.
But the 2020 Evoque does not rely on computers alone when it leaves the pavement. Ground clearance increased slightly to 8.3 inches. Designers pushed the wheels out toward the corners to maintain dimensions for off-roading. The maximum approach angle is 25 degrees and maximum departure angle is 30.6 degrees.
Land Rover introduced a new vehicle architecture on the Evoque that is 13 percent stiffer than the previous generation. Its maximum water-fording depth improved by nearly four inches to 23.6 inches.
About three-quarters of Evoque buyers live in urban areas, Simkin said. And the benefits of its good dimensions and advanced technology do not apply only to off-roading.
“This is for urban customers as well, facing difficult parking spaces and high curbs,” he said. “We think it’s real-world useable – it’s not just an off-road gimmick.”