When Land Rover introduced the first-generation Range Rover Evoque to the world in 2011, the marketing strategy for the premium compact crossover centered on its chic urban image. It was so fashionable it deserved to be associated with Posh Spice (aka Victoria Beckham)—much to the consternation of the old-time macho customers of the British SUV brand.
These days, however, an automotive company can’t easily get away with just being cute when releasing a new product. Not when the planet is dying. Not when her resources are fast drying up. And certainly not when the air we breathe is making millionaires out of pulmonologists. And so being hip and cool will no longer cut it in today’s polluted world. A new motor vehicle has to sound almost apologetic from the time it takes a bow in the market—just for existing but also for tempting people to purchase a new set of wheels they don’t really need.
Perhaps this is the reason Jaguar Land Rover has shifted the marketing focus of the second-generation Evoque from its exterior styling to what’s found under its sheet metal. This is obvious not only in the press documents but also in the way the company has been rolling out the vehicle in global markets (including ours).
Last night, Coventry Motors general manager Chris Ward led the Philippine unveiling of the all-new Evoque in Bonifacio Global City. And while the affair was still predictably snazzy, the talking points already included efficiency and environment protection.
As we told you very recently, Ward had met with us to discuss the electrified future of Jaguar Land Rover not only around the world but more so in the Philippines. That was largely to sound off his company’s intent to lay the groundwork for the imminent arrival of both hybrid and full-electric cars from the JLR stable. The new Evoque marks the start of it all.
The latest Evoque will be sold in four variants in the Philippines, but the big story is the top-of-the-line offering—because it is a mild-hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV). As such, it has a 48V battery and a belt-integrated starter generator that complement a 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine. So while the regular 2.0-liter gasoline variant produces 246hp and 365Nm, the MHEV that utilizes the same petrol unit has an overall system output of 296hp and a maximum torque figure of 400Nm. Other claimed benefits of the supplementary battery-and-generator combo: as much as a 6% drop in fuel consumption and an 8g/km reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions.
A pair of diesel variants—both equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged oil-burner that churns out 178hp and 430Nm—rounds out the Evoque lineup for our market.
- SE 2.0 Diesel – P5,090,000
- R-Dynamic HSE 2.0 Diesel – P5,490,000
- R-Dynamic HSE 2.0 Petrol – P5,590,000
- R-Dynamic HSE MHEV 2.0 Petrol – P6,190,000
(In our previous article, we said that the Evoque only had a solitary version—a diesel, front-wheel-driven one—that wasn’t MHEV. Turns out it has more powertrain configurations than what was indicated in the reference material we got from Land Rover’s media website.)
Obviously, the R-Dynamic variants boast more equipment compared with the base version, and they’re also available in Black Limited Edition for an additional P100,000. All Evoque units, according to the distributor, come with a “five-year service plan.”
If you’re like the virile members of the Land Rover Club of the Philippines—some of whom were in attendance at the launch event—you probably won’t get attracted to the new Evoque and will most likely just wait for the next-generation Defender. But if you’re just a sensible city dweller who appreciates a good-looking, tech-laden and environment-friendly ride, the baby Ranger Rover is worth a look.