Designed for the purpose of gliding across cityscapes, Range Rover’s Evoque has confidently become a symbol of sophistication for those who drive – or, are driven in – the cars, as well as the brand itself. Its status has been solidified by proposing new designs that look to the future of inner-city driving, and the brand’s latest model proves there is no end to the Evoque’s evolution.
Fusing the design vernacular of the Evoque with a new electric hybrid power system, the new compact luxury plug-in electric hybrid SUV marks a game-changing era in Range Rover’s journey, seeing it join other brands in the market who are crafting environmentally-friendly car solutions. But proving it has substance behind its typically sleek style, the Evoque SUV aims to prioritize a seamless driving experience, bringing a oneness to movement. Giving the latest vehicle the introduction it deserves, the brand hosted a summit earlier in June, inviting industry experts, media and other car enthusiasts to explore the cutting-edge design.
Under the strictest confidentiality, the summit started with an unveiling of the hybrid car behind the frosted windows of Range Rover’s Stratstone hub in Mayfair. Not only a grand reveal, the opening event saw the brand host a handful of guided workshops that focused on the building blocks of the car design. In the materials and color lab, a library of sustainable fabrics used for the interiors such as non-leather UltrafabricsTM and KvadratTM were on show for a hands-on experience. Meanwhile, in the main room, talks on the car technology, proportions and emissions gave an insight into the main components of the timeless design.
What was perhaps the main takeaway from the afternoon’s workshops came from the ergonomic qualities built into the car, specifically the consideration of air. Understanding how vehicles affect the delicate ecosystem and in-turn the air we breathe, the workshops closed with a breathing exercise led by founder of Breathpod Stuart Sandeman.
Heading to Pavilion – a private members club in the center of Knightsbridge – Range Rover hosted an industry panel talk in partnership with Hypebae. The panel consisted of interior product designer Mimi Shodeinde, graphic designer Davide Perella, Range Rover designer Louise Thorburn and photographer and documentary filmmaker Mary McCartney. It revolved around the theme of “The City That Shaped Me,” drawing parallels between the Evoque’s metropolitan-made sensibilities and the places that influence the designs of the panelists.
“London is such a fast paced, moving city.” begins Shodeinde as she talks about her forever home London. “The landmarks are constantly changing but somehow stay the same and that reflects the work I do because I’m all about capturing the beauty of movement.” Amongst her city-inspired references, the designer speaks of femininity and brutalism in her work, mentioning her mother within the sentiment too. “She is the epitome of strength and softness. That translates into a lot of my work: the robust and noble materials I use such as metal and wood but I use them in a very soft way. I don’t see them as contradictory because femininity in itself is strength.”
Also touching on the role that two opposing forces play in his work, Perella mentions, “The word duality is perfect because I like to mix different items from two different worlds and make something new that’s not on the market. For example, the sneakers I make are perfect for a city like Milan because you can wear them to the gym and then to a party in the next hour. I like to mix streetwear and luxury.” He concludes, “Right now everything is melting and I feel like this is my job.”
Coming from a perspective that is perhaps in contrastingly different to the other panelists, Thorburn speaks of the role Scotland has played in her work. She says, “The more I go home, the more I want to see the natural landscapes and scenery that I can then bring back and translate into something new and exciting.” She encourages her team at Range Rover to explore the tactility of such natural elements, adding how “colors and textures” from something that has existed for centuries are “incredibly inspiring for today.”
Rounding up the conversation, McCartney shares the unending inspiration that London serves in her work. One particular story encapsulates her journey with the city. “I was asked to do a portrait exhibition at Floral Hall which also houses the Royal Ballet, so I decided to do a project exploring how they tended to their feet,” she explains. “I shadowed Corps de Ballet dancers for months. I’m not a physical person, more visual and they speak a whole different language but it was London that brought us together.”
Through their different mediums, each panelist highlights how design is an ever changing art, shaping the way we live our lives and what we give back to the planet. Like Range Rover and its compact luxury SUV, the Evoque, they show that being receptive to the environments and experiences that surround us, further success in creative expression. To find out more about the panelists at the “The City That Shaped Me” talk, head to their social platforms now.
The new Range Rover Evoque is available to discover on its website and in Range Rover boutiques worldwide.