This is the production version of the Range Rover Evoque that will be unwrapped in Paris. The smallest ever Range Rover is claimed to deliver the premium levels of craftsmanship, luxury and performance of THE Range Rover, but shrink-wrapped into a compact package. Turning the LRX concept into reality, the Evoque measures just 4,340 mm, 432 mm shorter than a Range Rover Sport. Tasked with creating a new segment for the brand, the Evoque will reach showrooms mid next year.

It will be powered by a 240 bhp 2.0-litre Si4 turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection and twin VVT, said to combine six-cylinder refinement and performance with four-cylinder fuel economy. It’s lighter than Land Rover’s 230 bhp 3.2L six-pot by 40 kg. Speaking of that, the Evoque employs plenty of weight saving measures such as plastic front fenders and tailgate assembly, aluminium hood and roof panels, magnesium cross car beam and aluminium front lower control arms and suspension knuckles. Weight starts at 1,625 kg.

Besides that, LR has included various other efficiency measures. EPS steering, low rolling resistance tyres, brake regenerative system, clutchless air con compressors, reduction of engine friction through low friction coatings and low viscosity transmission fluid are all combined in the Evoque.

It’s a Range Rover, so however urban and stylish it looks, this thing must be capable off road. The company’s signature Terrain Response system is therefore standard, but on the Evoque it has Dynamic Mode which sharpens on-road handling. The permanent all-wheel drive system continuously varies the front/rear torque split using an electronically-controlled Haldex center coupling, which is tuned for “a fun-to-drive experience at all speeds”.

On the options list is the MagneRide continuously variable dampers. This uses a special damping fluid which contains magnetic particles. When subjected to a magnetic field, the fluid becomes more viscous, thus increasing the damping. LR seeked to offer flat cornering and good body control with the poise and stability of typical long-travel Range Rover suspensions on its baby.

The Evoque’s cabin is really seductive. It sports real metal trim and soft high-grade hides hand-finished with twin-needle stitching. Looks warm and hi tech at the same time. More pics after the jump.

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