2019 Chicago Auto Show Recap

February 22nd, 2019 by

Land Rover Test Track at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show

Jaguar Land Rover was at the Chicago Auto this year in a big way–they unveiled the newest Land Rover lineup including the redesign of the Range Rover Evoque, hosted the main press conference of the auto show, and even had a large test track to demonstrate the lineup’s off-roading prowess for auto show attendees. If you live in Delray Beach or Boca Raton, chances are you weren’t able to make it all the way out to Chicago for the nation’s largest auto show, but never fear! Check out our overview of the Land Rover news, models, and experiences from the February 2019 show below, and rely on Land Rover Palm Beach to keep up with the latest from Land Rover.

Land Rover Models on Display

The new Land Rover models offer design updates and increasingly advanced technologies and conveniences. More models are offering standard InControl® Touch Pro™ Duo infotainment touchscreen displays. The angle of the top touchscreen is adjustable to avoid glare, and you can customize both the Touch Pro™ Duo and Driver Information Interface to choose which screen displays apps like maps, audio, and more.

  • 2020 Range Rover Evoque: The newest version of the Range Rover Evoque was literally under wraps until the Jaguar Land Rover press conference at noon. Clear Sight Interior Rearview Mirror is a new advanced feature, which uses a camera on the antenna fin to project footage of the road behind you onto your rearview mirror. It will display the footage when you are in reverse if your view is obstructed by cargo in the back–ideal for college move-in day, camping trips, and furniture shopping. The new model also adopts the deployable flush handles of the Range Rover Velar for a streamlined exterior.
  • 2020 Range Rover PHEV: The plug-in hybrid version of Land Rover’s flagship SUV is able to fully charge in 2.75 hours with the Land Rover home charging port, with the plug cleverly hidden behind a section of the front grille. It has a spacious rear seat, a sci-fi-chic deployable dial gear selector, and convenient power split tailgate.
  • 2020 Range Rover Sport: Notable features on the new Range Rover Sport included the optional third row, which if not chosen allows for more than enough cargo space. You can enjoy a relaxing rear seat experience, with plenty of legroom, comfortable seating, and air vents above the windows for immediate climate gratification.
  • 2020 Range Rover Velar: The Range Rover Velar was the first-ever Land Rover to have flush deployable door handles, and continues in this stylish tradition. If you are a smaller but active family, this five-passenger model is ideal because it offers a fair amount of cargo space.

Jaguar Land Rover Press Conference

Jaguar Land Rover, the fastest-growing brand in the U.S. with sales up 23% from 2017, had the honor of presenting at the premier press conference of the Chicago Auto Show at noon. Joachim Eberhard, President and CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC, spoke on current and future geopolitical challenges including Brexit, the rapidly accelerating advancements in the automotive industry, and the company’s future emphasis on electrification. Here are some highlights from his speech:

  • Destination Zero: The lofty goal of zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero congestion. This means electrification of all Jaguar and Land Rover models, on-demand self-driving cars, ridesharing, and group ownership of vehicles. In the slightly more distant future, Jaguar Land Rover envisions self-driving pods that can communicate with pedestrians by projecting their intentions in an image onto the street in front of them.
  • Current Electrification Challenges: Electric vehicles are currently only 1% of the automotive market, fully electric vehicles take time to recharge, and city power grids will need significant advancements in order to support a growing electric vehicle future.
  • Future Range Rover Evoque Models: In the near future, there will be a mild hybrid electric powertrain and a choice of sustainable textiles made out of resources like eucalyptus.
  • The Land Rover Lineup: Land Rover will have three branches to their model lineup: the luxury Range Rover branch, the versatile Discovery branch, and the Defender branch, which aims to offer the “world’s most capable off-road vehicles.”

Land Rover Test Track

Described as “the most fun you’ll have at one mile per hour,” the Land Rover Test Track was an indoor off-roading course with bumpy surfaces, hills to climb, and steep descents. The course was driven by professional Land Rover off-roading coaches while auto show attendees rode shotgun. Visitors could ride in any model from the Land Rover lineup, and none of the vehicles were specially modified for the track. Some of the impressive Land Rover capability features that guests saw in action:

  • Independent Crosslink Air Suspension: This allows for better articulation on bumpy roads and over uneven obstacles. The air goes to individual canisters but they are linked from the front to the back end diagonally, which makes it behave like a live axle.
  • Selectable Drive Modes: Depending on the off-roading terrain or Wellington road conditions, choose from Mud & Ruts, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Desert Sand, and Rock Crawl, or choose from the Eco and Performance street modes. Or, you can set it to Auto and let your vehicle adjust automatically. Mud & Ruts was used on the test track for a steady pace, very little throttle, and minimal braking.
  • Clear-Shot Ground View: This newer feature uses four front-facing cameras to display footage of the road ahead with virtual front wheels on your Touch Pro™ Duo top screen for a “see-through hood.” It was perfect when driving the last leg of the test track–a steep upward climb. When almost at the top of the hill, you could no longer see the ground, but the Clear-Shot Ground View showed us what was ahead.
  • Hill Descent Control: Descending the highest and steepest hill at the end of the track was like a slow-motion roller coaster, where it felt like the Land Rover was defying gravity. But Hill Descent Control was doing all the work, providing smooth and controlled progress at a steady speed down the hill, with the driver’s foot off the brake.

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