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Review: Range Rover Evoque plug-in hybrid

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Interior of the Range Rover Evoque plug-in hybrid

The Range Rover Evoque changed Land Rover forever. Before their launch in 2012, the 4×4 manufacturer’s SUVs were attractive, but in a functional and boxy shape. Afterwards, the British brand focused as much on the latest trends and fashion as it did on off-roading and country estates.

At the 2012 launch event, Victoria Beckham spoke about her involvement in its creation. “I’ve designed a car that I want to drive,” she said at the time. However, since then, creative director Gerry McGovern has issues corrected a bit, claiming that Posh Spice exaggerated its role in the creation of the Evoque.

Still, as of 2016, more than half a million Evoques were sold worldwide in more than 180 countries, with Land Rover describing it as its “biggest sales success story.”

It’s no surprise then, considering the model’s history, that the designers of the latest Evoque have chosen to take an evolutionary approach in terms of technology for the urban-oriented SUV.

This iteration comes in four different models; Range Rover Evoque S, Dynamic SE, Dynamic HSE and finally Autobiography, all of them with a plug-in hybrid option. WIRED got its hands on the top-of-the-line Autobiography model on a tour organized by the brand in the Champagne wine region of northeastern France. But will it be a harvest year for JLR?

On the surface the changes are subtle; The interior is where the overhaul has really occurred. That said, the Evoque’s exterior presence is enhanced by a new grille and revised super-thin Pixel LED headlights with unique DRLs (daytime running lights), providing a jewel-like technical appearance. The new exterior details also complement the distinctive “floating roof” that defines the Range Rover design DNA.

The new super-thin Pixel LED headlights aren’t just for show either: they house JLR’s new advanced headlight technology. Each light has 26 individual LED segments, which turn on or off automatically to supposedly provide the most effective forward beam at all times. These segments also house sensors that scan the roads ahead and on either side. When another vehicle is in sight, the LEDs within the covering section turn off, ensuring that you will not dazzle any approaching vehicles.

Speed ​​capture cameras placed inside your headlights pick up speed warning signs and let you know instantly how fast you should be traveling on a given road. However, when driving on the highway, the cameras would occasionally pick up side traffic signs and, in doing so, display an incorrect reading on the dashboard.

All about the interior

Photography: Land Rover

The interior is where we see the big changes. The Evoque channels its big brother, the flagship Range Rover, to good effect on the interior, with comfortable seats, high-end materials and a stylish touchscreen infotainment system that has consumed all the technology from previous examples. More on that in a moment.

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