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Tuesday 7th February 2012

Hidden Nurburgring by Evoque

Snow lap of the 'ring scuppered by ... no snow - so to plan B



This is what a class traitor must feel like. I've never wanted a Range Rover, never even thought about one. Cars should be fast or practical. And certainly not two metres tall with an automatic gearbox. And yet here I am, driving around in an Evoque and bloody well enjoying it too. I feel like a lifelong socialist winning the lottery and buying a mansion with a heart-shaped swimming pool.

Snow no show scuppers plan A
Snow no show scuppers plan A
The plan for the Evoque is to take it for an irreverent, hoon-tastic lap of a snow-covered Nordschleife. Kinda like what Dan did the otherday in Finland, but with bells on and real armco to dodge, not just snow banks.

Where's the snow then?
Everything looked bloody perfect too; cold front approaching fast, massive snowfall predicted by every single weather site and Range Rover confirming it had the full-monty, 240hp turbo, Si4 available to pick up at zero notice.

Of course, we arrive a week ahead of the snow. Typical. But the lack of white stuff means the Nurburgring is open for tourist laps.

Evoque impresses on 'ring and off
Evoque impresses on 'ring and off
A gearbox and engine that feel a little bit over-keen on the road make a bit more sense surging through the cones and onto the Nordschleife and the Evoque's lack of body roll is amazing. The brakes are less so, and only just able to keep up with the power and weight.

Gearbox in S and suspension on Dynamic, the steering feedback actually encourages you to chop the throttle and oversteer into a corner. Close to two tonnes of roll-over-risk insanity. The acceleration alone is enough to raise a grin - no way should a 2.0-litre automatic SUV be chasing a BMW 330i down the back straight. But it does. And then we overtake into the next corner...

So to the Sudschleife...
Only when stopped, inhaling what's left of the brake pads, do I look at the ground clearance and chunky 17-inch winter tyres. Why stop with the Nordschleife?

Riggers' Photoshop skills have improved...
Riggers' Photoshop skills have improved...
Deep in the Eifel forest are parts of the 'ring that, technically, it's not possible to drive any more. Not only are they fenced off from the public behind big signs promising prosecution and worse, but they're not even connected to the outside world any more.

Sections like the old Sudschleife, or south loop. Much of it is now a public road, the K72 from Mullenbach to the Lindner complex. Drive it for yourself and you'll see it's a frustrated race track. Other parts were ripped up in the early 80s to lay the new GP track over the top.

But nestled between the L93 and the current GP track are stretches of the original 1927 circuit. Were one to drive an Evoque on such hallowed ground, trees within arm's reach, I'm sure it would send a shiver down the spine, especially imagining what it would have been like to race a 500hp-plus GP car down here. Obviously I'm not allowed to poke the Range Rover through a narrow gully and over a two-metre dirt embankment, so you'll have to check out the computer simulation of how it would look to drive the old Sudschleife in an Evoque...

One-in-three Steilstrecke part of 'ring history
One-in-three Steilstrecke part of 'ring history
The hidden Nurburgring
Next stop on this imagined tour is the amazing Steilstrecke. Nearly 300 metres of concrete climbing 100 metres with, maths fans, a sturdy 33 per cent gradient. Accessible today only by a narrow forestry lane with deep, tractor-gouged ruts. And the sort of thing an Evoque on winter tyres would easily shrug off, were one to attempt it. I wouldn't, obviously. It's illegal.

Nor would I then drive the Evoque, without any dramas whatsoever, up a one-in-three gradient on slippery concrete. Or go back down again, practically hands-free on the Hill Descent Control. Just as well, because heading down a slope like that covered in icy patches towards a massive steel gate and oncoming Nordschleife tourist traffic with no feet on the pedals would be quite scary. I imagine.

To then be able to take the same car, caked in mud and ice from this fantasy off-road tour, and go out for another lap on the Nordschleife would be incredible. Enough to overturn a lifetime's anti-SUV prejudice. And perhaps crave that heart-shaped swimming pool too.


Range Rover Evoque Si4
Engine:
2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power (hp): 240
Torque (lb ft): 251
0-62mph: 7.6 sec
Top speed: 135mph
Weight: 1,640kg
MPG: 32.5mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2: 199g/km
Price: £39,995 (list)








 

Dale Lomas
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Author Discussion

Stew2000

Original Poster:

2,764 posts

63 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
This is going to sound weird, but the thing I hate the most is the 0-62. It's rather pointless.
Who would want be hammering the throttle in one?

Iamnotkloot

41 posts

32 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
I don't know why, but I like the Evoque.

I shouldn't like it: automatic, SUV and a 'lifestyle choice' but....I can't help myself. I've seen a few in the flesh and they look pretty good.

Sounds like it's good to drive as well - could I be tempted?

Nah.....

doogz

23,119 posts

72 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
Iamnotkloot said:
I don't know why, but I like the Evoque.

I shouldn't like it: automatic, SUV and a 'lifestyle choice' but....I can't help myself. I've seen a few in the flesh and they look pretty good.

Sounds like it's good to drive as well - could I be tempted?

Nah.....
I hadn't actually seen one, other than pictures, until the other day.

I've seen 3 since Saturday, and i think they look fantastic! Really good looking cars/4x4s/whatever you want to call them, imo.

Antj

668 posts

85 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
haters are gonna hate, but i have a small feeling its going to do rather well on track.

Pingman

380 posts

86 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
I cannot believe that steep slope was previously part of the race track! redface

Kool article smile

The front of the Evoque looks absolutely great, the back end however looks frikken awful and lets it down chronically.


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TheRoadWarrior

1,219 posts

63 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
Holy imaging processing Batman!




RossP

1,281 posts

168 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
I swore I wouldn't have another LR after my unreliable Disco 3. However... love this Evoque!

mr2j

439 posts

43 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
just seen this video of someone powering downhill on the steilstrecke in an M3. i knew youtube wouldn't disappoint. do a lot of people actually get to do this bit? (48 seconds in)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhVlKhv4KVg&t=0...

The Crack Fox

9,885 posts

77 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
The name still makes me cringe...

Monty Python

1,664 posts

82 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
Saw 64 of them last week, and more than half were white.

Motormatt

75 posts

103 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
Are 17" rims even an option available to the buying public or are they reserved just for press cars? The (mostly white) Evoques I've seen are shod with comically large vanity rims which I suspect would have given a very different outcome to the off road sections of this test.

MRCC

250 posts

42 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
Fantastic looking car the Evoque. Land Rover cannot build them quick enough which is great news for Liverpool.

Regards,

Mr. CC.

a11y_m

1,613 posts

107 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
One-in-three Steilstrecke: I've pedalled up that fecking hill and can confirm it feels every part of it's 1-in-3 gradient. It's part of the signed MTB route that follows (roughly) the route of the 'Ring, good for accessing good viewing spots.

Dan Trent

972 posts

53 months

PH Editor Bloke

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
I did a story for MBR on riding the MTB route around the 'ring a couple of years back in a previous life and it's a great ride. It's surreal being out on a mountain bike and having cars ragging past at warp speed just feet away and there's some nice singletrack sections near Fuchsrore. It's a great way to see the 'ring and get a view from bits you don't usually get to see too. I remember peeking over the armco at Fuchsrore just after the gates must have opened and seeing a lone GT3 RS come bombing through and blipping a perfectly timed downshift just as he disappeared over the crest to Adenauer Forst, the howl from his engine gradually disappearing into the trees before it went silent again. Magic stuff and worth the effort of getting out on the bike.

dtrump

1,538 posts

76 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
great car, but 40 grand? I would be tempted if it was closer to 30

David87

3,188 posts

97 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
Great article, I enjoyed reading that very much. I love old abandoned circuits like the Südschleife - there's just something enchanting about the way they look when they're simply cordoned off and forgotten.

On the subject of the Evoque, it is one hell of a car. I've been driving an Si4 for the past few days (albeit in 5-door form) and am simply astounded by its all-round abilities. It handles brilliantly for what it is, goes better than you'd ever imagine in a straight line and even sounds alright. The interior is a cut above and it's filled with lovely little touches that just make you smile. And the best bit? It's built in the UK. yes

Max_Torque

7,969 posts

102 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
Nice fun write up, but lets be honest with ourselves. Put a half decent driver in the 330i and the Evoque simply wouldn't see which way it had gone.............


Impressive for a 2 tonne SUV, Yes. A performance car, No. ;-)


badlands1

845 posts

38 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
[quote=MRCC] Land Rover cannot build them quick enough which is great news for Liverpool.

quote]

I wish Scousers would nick other types of cars as well.

smile

(just a joke)

Motormatt

75 posts

103 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
Max_Torque said:
Nice fun write up, but lets be honest with ourselves. Put a half decent driver in the 330i and the Evoque simply wouldn't see which way it had gone.............


Impressive for a 2 tonne SUV, Yes. A performance car, No. ;-)
Agreed,
I was a passenger in an Integra Type R at the 'ring when we were passed by a 2.5tdi Touareg. The difference was that the Integra driver was half way around his second ever lap, the driver of the German registered Touraeg had clearly completed several hunderd laps. Didnt let that little fact prevent a massive mickey taking though hehe

Dale Lomas

151 posts

40 months

[news] 
Monday 6th February 2012 quote quote all
I've got plenty of laps around here, and I was dusted by an X5 and I was in my turbo MX5. OK, it was wet. But still, like the Toerag above, it resulted in some epic mickey taking from my passenger!

On a side note, before I drove the Evoque I couldn't give two hoots about SUVs. And I was so patriotic that I moved to a different country. BUT BUT BUT... I get a warm glow inside knowing that Jaguar and Land Rover are taking British quality and quirkiness to a higher level and duffing up plenty of 'established' competitors in the way. It's a hell of a product, even if it's not your cup of tea!
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