With the Land Rover factory starting 24-hour shifts to meet worldwide for its Range Rover Evoque, it’s possible that even this style icon could become a victim of its own success. It’s seems unlikely now, but could the Evoque’s visual impact be lessened by familiarity?
To avoid such disasters, one of Britain’s leading aftermarket specialists, Afzal Kahn at Kahn Design has created several solutions for the prospective Evoque owner.
Based in Bradford, England the designer has been re-thinking Land Rover product for years, so it was only a matter of time before he got around to the Evoque. He approached it with caution, waiting for others to show their hand before revealing his take on this must-have machine.
Describing the process as “difficult”, Gerry McGovern’s head-turning Evoque left surprisingly little room for Kahn to put his mark on the off-roader.
However, he was able to assemble this Range Rover Evoque Prestige RS250 Vesuvius Copper as an example of what the Evoque aficianado can to to make his stand out from the others.
Vesuvius Copper paint and that contrasting black roof aren’t a combination you’ll find on Land Rover’s color charts. Not that you must have such an extrovert shade. But if you want to be noticed, it does create the desired effect.
However, the paint perhaps does Kahn’s modifications a disservice; his visual changes overpowered yet managing to add assertiveness to the already boldly Evoque.
With its scalloped front bumper, large air intake and pair of piercing driving lights, Kahn’s Prestige RS250 presents a more sporting face to the world. Losing its official badging along the hood, large K A H N lettering leaves you in no doubt about its origins, but early images without the branding give it a subtler look.
Not that subtle was the desired effect. In addition to that bumper there’s a recessed ‘3D Mesh’ grille in contrasting black, and the Evoque’s signature front fender treatment was also finished in black.
With the company’s origins in wheel design, the fenders are filled more convincingly by Kahn’s own 22” RS600 wheel. Together with a 30mm suspension drop thanks to Kahn springs (which does without Land Rover’s magnetic ride option), they do wonders for the vehicle’s stance.
Behind the spokes on the wheels finished in matte pearl grey, the brake calipers were finished in body color, although there were no changes to the braking equipment itself.
The visual alternations continue to the rear where the bumper sports a centrally positioned exhaust inside a diffuser. Above it are vents that give a sporty feel in concert with the small spoiler sitting below the rear window. The drama continues inside, where almost every surface was covered in a combination of black and orange leather. There’s also Alcantara with contrasting stitching used in quilted and regular finishes.
The Vesuvius Copper’s interior is arguably more extreme than the exterior, and while it might be a little overpowering for some tastes, the level of workmanship is good and it gives potential customers an idea if what’s possible, down to the questionable bejeweled gear selector.
This is an Evoque where drivers will be less bothered about the Terrain Response and perhaps more concerned about the response it gets from the sidewalk.
On the road it’s identical to any other Evoque, with the exception of the busier ride thanks to the suspension changes. The steering feels a touch sharper, with the wheel delivering a finer level of detail than the standard car thanks to the low-profile tires.
Kahn’s demonstration model comes in 2.2L SD4 190hp turbo-diesel guise, but you can have the RS250 Vesuvius with the 240hp 2.0L Si4 turbocharged engine too.
And while even that might not be enough for the dramatic looks, Kahn suggested he’s working with Cosworth to offer higher output versions. Of course, you have to buy the whole package. Kahn offers most of the Vesuvius parts as individual elements if one piece catches your eye more than others.