AFTER seven hugely successful years, Land Rover's ground-breaking Range Rover Evoque has been given a make-over - but you'd be hard pressed to spot the differences.
For, in design terms, this second-generation of what makers Land Rover claim is "the original luxury compact SUV" is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
Sure there are subtle differences, but the new design remains faithful to the original, more than three quarters of a million of which have been sold around the world - 20 per cent of them in the UK.
Major differences include super-slim Matrix LED headlamps flush door handles and sweeping direction indicators.
The major changes are beneath the skin where virtually everything is new. Although the bodywork looks little different, only the door hinges are unchanged, says executive director of product engineering Nick Rogers, who adds: "Underneath the skin is an engineering and technical revolution."
The new Evoque features all-new architecture which has been designed to accommodate both plug-in and mild hybrid systems, while the chassis has been significantly reworked.
The wheelbase is longer and that translates into extra kneeroom in the back and a ten per cent increase in luggage space with up to 1,383 litres available when the rear seats are folded.
The new platform has been developed with electrification in mind and the Evoque will be the first Land Rover model to come with a hybrid power train. A 48-volt mild-hybrid is available at launch while a plug-in hybrid model will be offered in around a years' time. A new three-cylinder petrol engine will also become available next year.
Available across the range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines - but only with an automatic gearbox - the mild hybrid delivers CO2 emissions from as low as 149g/km and fuel economy from 50.4mpg. At speeds below 11mph the engine will shut off while the driver applies the brakes. When pulling away, the stored energy is redeployed to assist the engine under acceleration and reduce fuel consumption.
Crammed with the latest technology, the new Evoque features an interior mirror which transforms into an HD video screen. If rear visibility is compromised by passengers or bulky items, the driver simply flicks a switch on the underside of the mirror and a camera feed from the top of the car displays what is behind the vehicle.
The new Evoque is also the first car in the world to feature ground view technology, which effectively makes the bonnet invisible by projecting camera imagery onto the upper touchscreen to show the driver a 180-degree view under the front of the vehicle.
It's also the first Land Rover to come with smart settings, which use artificial intelligence algorithms to learn the driver's preferences and acts as what the company calls ‘an onboard butler'. In addition to seat position, music and climate settings, the system can also control steering column adjustment preferences.
Dealers are already taking orders for the new range which is priced from £31,600 for the 150hp diesel manual with front wheel drive. All other models in the new line-up come with all wheel drive and auto transmission at prices from £35,100.