The Range Rover Evoque: off-road
According to Murray Dietsch, the Evoque’s programme director, the Evoque is at least as capable off road as the Freelander it’s based on. And that’s despite a lower ride height. The front subframe sits usefully higher, so provided you’ve first removed the front towing eye cover, its approach angle is the same as the Freelander’s, while the departure- and breakover-angles are actually superior.
Because the Evoque’s final chassis tuning is still being signed off, we’re not allowed to drive the car off-road today. But we have been allowed onboard as a passenger for a taste of what it can do alongside two engineers tuning the new Adaptive Dynamics suspension. Adaptive Dynamics is Land Rover’s name for the Magne-Ride system supplied by BWI, formerly Delphi. It’s the kit used on the Ferrari 599 and comprises dampers filled with a special fluid whose properties can be tweaked by the application of an electrical current.
When we arrive at Gaydon, LR’s Ian Hulme and Rob Oakley from BWI have already been busy on the various off-road courses, Hulme at the wheel, and Oakley alongside him, laptop on knees. Although Magne-Ride has been around for a few years, and has even been fitted to an Acura crossover, this is the first time it’s ever been applied to a car with proper off road pretensions. The ECU controlling the dampers is helped by sensors relaying data about the steering angle, throttle position and vehicle speed.
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