Adding a new kind of contemporary chic to its already stylish package, the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque will introduce a variety of new tech touches when it goes on sale later this fall. In addition to an even more sophisticated 4-wheel-drive system, both the Coupe and 5-door versions of this trend-setting compact SUV also benefit from a new 9-speed automatic transmission in place of the 6-speed unit in the 2013 models.

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Previewed last March at the Geneva Auto Show, the  ZF-9HP autoshifter in the new Evoque is designed to deliver ultra-quick and silky-smooth cog changes. Featuring a wide ratio spread and the ability to adapt on the fly to any driving style, this new transmission will team with the carryover 2.0-liter/240-horsepower turbocharged/direct-injected 4-cylinder engine to enhance the Evoque’s overall performance --  particularly under more challenging off-road maneuvers --  while improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. Although EPA numbers have yet to be released, Land Rover has confirmed that the new transmission is a significant 16.5 pounds lighter than the current gearbox.

The second most notable upgrade for the coming season is the Evoque’s new and more mileage-friendly on-demand 4-wheel-drive system. Formally known as Active Driveline, it reduces internal drag by decoupling the rear wheels during steady-state operation at speeds above 22 mph. The setup includes full torque vectoring capability that lets it ship power to each wheel independently to improve traction and counteract understeer as well as Active Torque Biasing that uses an electronically controlled rear differential to split motive force between each aft wheel to further optimize grip and stability.

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Other tech tweaks for the 2014 Evoque include Adaptive Cruise Control -- with Queue Assist, Forward Alert and Intelligent Emergency Braking -- Closing Vehicle Sensing and Reverse Traffic Detection warning. To aid in close-quarters maneuvering, the Evoque also features new Park Exit that lets it automatically pull out of parallel parking spots and Perpendicular Park that can center the vehicle in any head-in slot. Cosmetic changes on the 2014 Evoque are confined to new colors and trendier Land Rover badges on its nose, tail and tastefully redesigned alloy wheels.

Pricing for the 2014 Range Rover Evoque 5-door runs from $42,890 for the Pure trim to $58,090 for the top-level Dynamic model. The 2014 Range Rover Evoque Coupe begins at $45,935 for a Pure Plus variant and runs to $59,090 for the range-topping Dynamic trim.

More Sport Utility Vehicles…

The all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee goes on sale this fall

The Subaru Forester has been completely redesigned for 2014

Toyota’s popular 4Runner gets a mid-cycle refresh for 2014


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