Land Rover has tweaked its record-breaking Range Rover Evoque to improve its appetite for fuel which, despite selling 170,000 cars in 18 months, has been a big criticism of the baby SUV.
• Range Rover Evoque review
From October, every Range Rover Evoque ordered with an automatic gearbox will come with a nine-speed ZF unit as standard, with the taller extra ratios designed specifically to improve efficiency. However, Land Rover claims that the wider spread of ratios also helps to improve performance and an adaptive shift programme that matches the style of the driver.
Another first for 2014 is a new option called ‘Active Driveline’ – an on-demand four-wheel drive system that operates as a two-wheel drive car at speeds over 22mph to help save fuel, with the rear axle quickly re-engaged if the car senses any loss in traction or stability. Another Range Rover Evoque change will see the SUV use the rear axle as an e-Diff to distribute torque across all four wheels wheels to counteract understeer for tidier handling.
Apparently these two transmission tweaks improve overall mpg by well over ten per cent depending on the engine, with CO2 emissions also seeing a significant reduction. The most efficient model is still the two-wheel drive eD4 diesel equipped with a manual gearbox – which returns 57.6mpg and 129g/km in its lightest three-door coupe guise.
New technology adopted from the Range Rover includes a wading sensor for serious off-roading, two new automatic parking features, traffic sign recognition and Lane Departure warning. Smartphone users can also download a new ‘InControl’ app that monitors your Evoque so you can keep an eye on important information like vehicle status and fuel level and can even find your car if you forgot where you parked it.
Understandably for such an iconic design the styling changes have been kept to a minimum but the facelifted Evoque comes with a choice of new colours including the ‘Zanzibar Bronze’ hue in our pictures. Four new alloy wheel designs and a subtle new winglet on the rear spoiler complete the modest visual makeover.