The 2012 MacRobert Award has been presented to Land Rover for its innovative work in creating and manufacturing the Range Rover Evoque. The most prestigious prize in its field in the UK, it further reinforces the success enjoyed by Evoque since its launch last year. The Evoque was among three British engineering projects from different industrial sectors that were finalists for this year’s award. In its profile of the vehicle, the academy noted how its 'striking concept car design' has been achieved while maintaining the ground clearance required for it to have genuine all-terrain capability. It credits this to the ingenuity of Land Rover engineers who succeeded in packaging the underfloor components, exhaust, suspension systems, chassis frame and a 70-litre fuel tank 'with millimetre accuracy'.
The judges also highlighted the use of safety and weight-saving technologies throughout the bodyshell and chassis, such as the ultra-high strength boron steel that helps give Evoque both its characteristic slim profile and a high degree of body rigidity. New technologies were developed for the Evoque, including new Magneto-rheological shock absorbers that enable continuous control of damping performance, and an evolution of Land Rover’s award-winning Terrain Response programme for optimum adjustment of suspension and transmission settings to suit the demands of different off-road conditions.
The Evoque project has also seen Land Rover making significant advances in environmental performance, supported by an internal life cycle analysis for the vehicle. This impact assessment made it one of few cars to receive accreditation from the Vehicle Certification Agency. Thanks to highly efficient new powertrains and comprehensive weight-saving measures throughout the car’s construction, Evoque is the most efficient Range Rover yet, with emissions as low as 129g/km and average fuel consumption at 56.5mpg. In production, different recycled materials are used for trims, linings, covers and even parts of the audio speakers.
The Evoque’s achievements are not just about the nuts and bolts of engineering, however and the academy also took into account the fact that the model’s international sales success has helped increase production at Land Rover’s Halewood factory and secure 40,000 jobs within the company and the wider economy. David Mitchell, Chief Programme Engineer for the Evoque said, 'The MacRobert Award is a high honour for Land Rover and the team that created Evoque. We are very proud that the innovations we brought to the project, and the way in which they have helped make the vehicle so successful and appealing to customers worldwide, have been recognised by the academy as representing the very best in British engineering.'
In making the award, the academy commended the Evoque team members - David Mitchell, Chief Programme Engineer; David Saddington, Design Studio Director; Peter Cockle, Vehicle Engineering Manager; Brain Lidgard, Body Engineering Manager; and Ian Hulme, Principal Chassis Engineer.