With its stablemate the Land Rover Discovery Sport now officially in dealerships, eyes are turning towards the four-year-old Range Rover Evoque and how it will square-up to the new model.
Although aimed at different buyers; the Evoque majoring on style and performance, the Discovery Sport on practicality and flexibility, they’ll inevitably compete for the same pounds in many cases.
The Discovery Sport is arguably fresher looking at the front-end, with smoother surfacing than the Evoque, which is why it appears Land Rover is readying a subtle restyle for the baby Range Rover.
This camouflaged prototype reputedly also sports 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel Ingenium power under the bonnet: the same Wolverhampton-built engine that’s expected to power the two-wheel drive eD4 Discovery Sport, and that has just debuted in the Jaguar XE saloon.
Longitudinally mounted in the 1.5-tonne rear-wheel drive XE, the 161bhp/280lb ft, 1999cc turbodiesel gives as low as 99g/km CO2 emissions, when teamed with a six-speed manual gearbox – 106g/km with an eight-speed auto. Jaguar claims between 69mpg (eight-speed auto) and 75mpg is possible. A 178bhp/317lb ft version claims 67mpg, with between 109 and 111g/km depending on tyre size.
Given that the current Evoque weighs around 100kg more than the XE, but that the all-aluminium Ingenium is expected to weigh less than the current PSA/Ford-derived 2.2, figures similar to the Jaguar’s should be anticipated – on paper at least. The Evoque will also require suspension, steering and brake revisions to suit, and will likely still employ the ZF nine-speed automatic as an option on four-wheel drive models.
The transversely mounted Ingenium unit is also believed to power the convertible Evoque prototypes doing the rounds, but our sources suggest they’re not quite as far advanced as this one.
Whether the interior will also be updated isn’t clear, but we’d expect the Discovery Sport’s revised 8in touchscreen infotainment system to be on the integration list, along with increased multimedia interconnectivity.
With demand for the Ingenium engines ramping up, synchronizing the output between there, Halewood (where Discovery Sport and Evoque are built) and Solihull (where the XE is built) will be key to exactly when the new engine is introduced. The second half of this year would be our guesstimate.