By Mike Torpey on 2017-11-13 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Land Rover heralds
THEY are two of the biggest hits to roar out of Liverpool since the days of the Fab Four.
And for fans of the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport there's a new ticket to ride on offer.
It comes in the shape of the premium brand's latest Ingenium engine technology bringing cleaner, and more spirited, performance to both model line-ups.
The Evoque was the fastest selling Land Rover model ever until its Disco Sport stablemate arrived at the company's Halewood plant, where it took the place of the now defunct Jaguar X-Type.
Now the recipe for success is being beefed up by the arrival of two new petrol engines plus a lusty diesel in time for the 2018 model year.
The powerplants add more weight to the company's long-term commitment to cut toxic emissions and improve fuel economy across its range.
Designed, engineered and built in the UK, the engines are actually the most advanced Land Rover has ever produced.
The pair of 2.0-litre petrol units come with a choice of 240 or 290bhp of punch and while petrol power has long been available in the Evoque, that hasn't been the case with Discovery Sport - at least until now.
Diesel though remains the most popular choice and the existing pair of oil-burners, the 150bhp eD4 and 180bhp TD4, are now joined by a new twin-turbocharged 240bhp unit.
It all adds up to a wider range and better performance, something Land Rover took the opportunity to demonstrate during an Ingenium Showcase based at picturesque Ullswater in Cumbria.
Disco Sport and Evoque models were available for appraisal on a challenging test route featuring motorway, A-road and country lane driving from the Lake District into the Yorkshire Dales, with the opportunity to check out the new petrol engines and compare the diesels.
The route also involved a visit to the Land Rover Experience Centre on the Broughton Hall Estate near Skipton, where the cars coped with everything from steep drops and angled boulders to a river bed and railway sleepers.
Both models are comfortable and rewarding to drive - extremely agile around the twisting country lanes, the higher powered 290bhp petrol variant proving especially sweet.
While the new 240bhp diesel brings greater performance over the most popular 180bhp version - zero to 60mph in 7.1 seconds as opposed to 8.4 - average fuel consumption is not nearly so attractive.
There's an official discrepancy of 16mpg, though real world mixed motoring evens things out more closely, my own journey in the more powerful Discovery Sport returning 42.2mpg.
What you get though is a vehicle with five plus two stadium-style seating in a tastefully appointed cabin with colour touchcreen, multiple storage areas, four 12V power points and USB charging sockets for all three rows of seats.
Stuff like a rear view camera, parking aids and push button start are standard and top grade HSE Luxury trim brings perforated leather seats and a large glass sunroof.
The Evoque, meanwhile, has been a runaway success since its launch back in 2011 - selling more than 600,000 examples in the process.
And the standout model at the Ingenium Showcase was a Landmark special edition in dazzling Moraine Blue metallic paint, inspired by the turquoise lakes of the Canadian Rockies.
Launched to celebrate six years of compact SUV success at the Liverpool plant, the Landmark is also available in Yulong White and Corris Grey.
It has a dynamic body kit and grey exterior detailing including a fixed panoramic roof in Carpathian Grey, 19-inch gloss dark grey alloy wheels and graphite Atlas grille, bonnet, fender vent and tailgate lettering.
Inside there are grained Ebony leather seats and the special edition Evoque also has keyless entry and a powered tailgate.
Tech includes a 10-inch InControl Touch Pro system featuring apps such as Spotify and a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot while the optional Remote Premium app for a smartphone lets owners check the fuel level, lock status, location and even pre-heat or cool the cabin.
The Landmark edition is based on the 180bhp TD4 Evoque diesel priced at £39,000 for the manual and £40,840 for the automatic.
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