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18 February 2014

Range Rover Evoque gets more power

Evoque 'Autobiography Dynamic' gets 281bhp and sporty tweaks in time for Geneva

Rowan Horncastle
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Maybe it's the arrival of the 'SUV sports car' that is the Porsche Macan. Maybe it's mere coincidence. Whichever way, Land Rover has revealed a hotter Range Rover Evoque for the Geneva show.

Named the Evoque Autobiography Dynamic, it's had its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine turned up to 281bhp and 400Nm - an increase of 60Nm and 44bhp over the most powerful model currently available. The nine-speed ZF automatic ‘box has also been slightly re-jigged for added sportiness.

The Evoque has always driven like a (slightly tall) hot hatch, but this new model is set to be yet more honed. LR's engineers have sharpened up the steering, upgraded the suspension geometry, added firmer spring rates and recalibrated its adaptive dampers. This, apparently, is all to increase the Evoque's agility and turn-in response, which was hardly rusty before.

The sporty jargon doesn't end there. Land Rover's ‘Active Driveline' system, which seamlessly couples and decouples the front and rear axles, has been made standard, and fettled for maximum traction when 'on it'. The brakes have also swollen to 350mm at the front to handle the extra power, and now incorporate a torque vectoring system to reduce understeer.

Visually the Autobiography Dynamic gains a new grille, fresh chin design, and ‘jewel-like' head and taillights. You can have it painted in some shiny new colours, and sit it on a different set of 20-inch alloys.

Interestingly, it seems the guys in Gaydon have listened to Captain Slow's extensive feedback on the Evoque. Though James praised Victoria Beckham's techy Terrain Response, he wasn't impressed by the entertainment system. Lucikly, for this new model, LR has introduced a new system dubbed 'InControl', allowing you to download special apps to your smartphone, which are then mirrored on the Evoque's touchscreen.

No word yet on pricing or performance figures for this warmer Evoque, but expect modest upgrades on the figures of the current hottest Evoque - the Si4 - which makes 240bhp, and does 0-100kph in 7.1 seconds. Which will plunge the Evoque Autobiography into serious competition with the entry-level Porsche Macan, the petrol 'S'. That car has 335bhp, and does 0-100kph in 5.2 seconds. Discuss.

We'll see Evoque Autobiography Dynamic with our actual eyes at the Geneva show in a few weeks. But until then you'll have to make do with the pictures on the right.

So baby Porsche or baby Rangie? What would you go for? Let us know below.

Tags: range rover, geneva 14, evoque autobiography dynamic, range rover evoque

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