Gliding serenely through the countryside at the wheel of the sophisticated new 2024 model Range Rover Evoque, I was reminded just what brilliant vehicles our home-grown British motor manufacturer JLR produces.
Cocooned in my own luxurious living room on wheels, I reflected on how I’ve followed this game-changing Range Rover throughout its life.
Now I was bringing the story up to date with this year’s upgrade, though mindful of some more pressing issues — primarily on the theft of its vehicles, concerns over insurance and parts supply, with all of which JLR is grappling.
Best of British: The 2024 Evoque plug-in hybrid is a sophisticated and fun drive
Riding on 20in wheels, I drove the P300e plug-in hybrid version in Autobiography trim, which combines a frugal turbocharged 3-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to develop 308 hp, allowing it to accelerate from rest to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds up to a maximum 132 mph.
A vast, panoramic, sliding, tinted glass roof gives a sense of airy space while its top-end Meridian hi-fi is a £630 upgrade.
It’s an engaging drive, though the push to remove buttons for a clutter-free minimalist dashboard may be going too far.
Main drive settings are comfort, grass and gravel, mud/ruts, sand and auto. There’s also hill descent control, wade sensing and intelligent four-wheel drive.
Once fully charged, a promised electric-only range of up to 37 miles is ideal for short and near- silent zero-emission commutes, shopping trips, and social or sporting events. And there’s still the security and comfort of the petrol-electric hybrid set-up from a 56.5 litre fuel tank.
Providing you keep it charged and drive sensibly, consumption is up to a claimed 190mpg, with overall CO2 emissions of just 33g/km, though I suspect few would achieve that.
Main drive settings are comfort, grass and gravel, mud/ruts, sand and auto
Providing you keep it charged and drive sensibly, consumption is up to a claimed 190mpg
A promised electric-only range of up to 37 miles is ideal for short and near- silent zero-emission commutes, shopping trips, and social or sporting events
With the vehicle seen as being targeted by criminal gangs, JLR has enhanced security on all new models
The range starts at £40,080, but the version I drove, at £63,565, included £3,125 of fitted extras, including a tracker theft alert subscription as a £520 option.
With the vehicle seen as being targeted by criminal gangs, JLR has enhanced security on all new models and is retro-fitting earlier ones, as well as launching its own insurance option for buyers.
Funky two-wheeled BMW
On a BMW car launch this week, I was pleasingly diverted by this fun and funky electric two-wheeled beamer — ideal to beat the jams or anti-car regimes on trips into town.
The BMW CE 02, is a battery powered e-scooter/e-motorcycle cross. Feeling incredibly robust, though light, the 4 kW (5 hp) version costing from £7,450 has a top speed of 28 mph, a range of 28 miles, and can be ridden in the UK by anyone with a standard car licence.
Fun and funky: The electric two-wheeled beamer is ideal to beat the jams or anti-car regimes on trips into town
The more powerful 11 kW (15 hp) version, from £8,450, has a top speed of 59 mph and a range of 56 miles, but requires a motorbike licence.
There are three riding modes: ‘Flow’ for urban traffic; ‘Surf’ for more acceleration and effortless cruising and ‘Flash’ for a sportier experience.
Suitable for riding ‘two-up’, features include a reversing assistant and LED headlamps.