By Mike Torpey on 2020-01-19 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Range Rover Evoque
IT wasn't just the Beatles connection that earned the Range Rover Evoque the label of Fab 4x4.
The title has as much to do with the Liverpool-built model becoming the fastest selling vehicle in Land Rover history.
And if the new, second generation, Evoque which hit the streets last spring doesn't instantly look too dissimilar from its predecessor, well the truth of the matter is that only the door hinges have been carried over.
But make no mistake, this is a seriously important car - with no less than £1 billion invested in its production.
A fair wad of that cash has gone into developing the Evoque's electrification - so crucial to modern day motor manufacture - and its world first technologies.
What Land Rover has achieved with the Evoque is little short of a packaging masterclass.
It may look far bigger but the vehicle is actually the same size as a Ford Focus, however the wheelbase has been extended by 21mm and if that doesn't sound very much it sure makes a difference.
The result is more rear passenger space - a criticism of the previous model - better boot space and the packaging for electrification.
So every new Evoque bar the entry level two-wheel drive variant now includes an ‘always on' 48-volt mild hybrid system which recoups energy when the driver lifts off the throttle then uses it to lower emissions and provide better fuel efficiency.
Looking a little further ahead, a plug-in hybrid model is due to arrive in the next few months.
While definitely more stylish with its super-slim Matrix LED headlights, flush door handles and sweeping direction indicators, it's the new tech on the car that takes it to a new level.
Among it is something called ClearSight rear view, an interior mirror which when flipped towards you becomes a wide angle screen showing an HD video of what's going on behind the car - great for when visibility is compromised by passengers or bulky items.
And 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.
Range Rover Evoques are up for grabs in a choice of six trim grades and the engines - 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol and diesel units with three different power outputs - are carried over from the previous car.
Cossetting and upmarket inside, the plastics are all 100 per cent recycled and the seats are either leather or - as in the case of our tested model - a wool blend called Kvadrat that's warm in winter and cool in the summer.
The Evoque's long horizontal central touchscreen with its piano black finish is easy to use and looks classy while the settings for the seats, climate control and vehicle - like Comfort, Eco, Dynamic Program and Auto Terrain Response - are accessed via a lower screen.
As a family vehicle there is ample room for five plus a large boot with a separate concealed storage compartment below.
And in time-honoured Land Rover fashion there are very few places a car with the Evoque's hardcore abilities can't go.
Range Rover Evoque HSE R-Dynamic
Mechanical: 300bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via nine-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 150mph
0-62mph: 6.3 seconds
Combined MPG: 34.9
C02 emissions: 186g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 3yrs/100,000 miles
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