The engineering team behind Land Rover’s cutting-edge concept car for the road, the Range Rover Evoque, has won the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award.
The Range Rover Evoque claimed the prize, which judges innovative engineering alongside its commercial success and benefit to the community, after selling over 70,000 units in the nine months it’s been on sale.
The success of the Evoque has created or secured 40,000 jobs at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and its supply chain. JLR are putting £3bn of orders back into its UK supply chain over the next 4 years.
Manufacturing at its Halewood plant in Merseyside now runs on a triple shift, with the workforce doubling to 3,000 over recent years. JLR’s latest recruitment drive is set to increase the size of the workforce to 4,500 by the end of 2012.
The Range Rover Evoque has stimulated much-needed investment in the Midlands and the North West, regions hit hard by the economic downturn.
Sir John Parker GBE FREng, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “Jaguar Land Rover is a shining example of a large company with an excellent product whose drive and confidence has generated billions of pounds worth of new business for their UK suppliers. We need this ‘pull-through’ effect across the economy to enable growth.”
The Range Rover Evoque has carved out an entirely new market segment with its striking concept-car design, which still retains the ground clearance necessary for true all-terrain capability.
In order to maintain the original concept’s low profile design, Jaguar Land Rover’s engineers packaged the under-floor components, the all new front and rear suspension systems, new chassis frame and 70L fuel tank with millimetre accuracy.
Safety and weight-saving technologies can be found throughout its bodyshell and chassis, including an advanced steel monocoque frame that is reinforced with ultrahigh-strength boron steel, which enables the Evoque to achieve a slim profile without compromising strength or safety.
John Robinson FREng, chair of the MacRobert Award judging panel, noted that Land Rover is bucking the trend with the Range Rover Evoque, which has been hugely successful and opened up new markets around the world.
“The judges were impressed with the sheer excellence of the engineering design and the team’s mission to create a future-facing product that challenges preconceptions of what a Range Rover looks like, while staying true to the qualities that made the brand famous,” he said.
The designers of the Range Rover Evoque faced competition from Andor Technology for their highly sensitive scientific camera that enables scientists to map a genome in only a few hours, and JBA Consulting for their J-flow hyper-accurate flood risk modelling system.