Range Rovers are a common sight on the driveways of sports personalities and various celebrities over recent years. A high driving position, exclusive luxury and the ability to perform both on or off the road made them a vehicle to roam the world at their owners leisure. However, the modern image of the Range Rover brand is being pushed predominantly towards buyers who remain well within a city center rather than a muddy swamp. The HSE and Sport models offered the pinnacle of Range Rovers luxury, each having their own charm.
The Evoque was introduced to the production line in 2011, featuring similarities to the Land Rover LRX that was revealed at the North American International Auto Show three years prior. Within the first year of production the Evoque exploded with popularity with those who didn't need a vehicle as large as a HSE or Sport, but still required the refinement and luxury that a Range Rover provides. Selling over 88,000 units in the first year of production the Evoque quickly became the defining 'crossover SUV'. The Range Rover Evoque we have here in a beautiful pearl was handed to us to receive our Enhancement Detail service to remove swirls and other paint defects whilst the colour and gloss was maximized. Lets get t work..
The Evoque was delivered to us looking in a reasonably good condition. A light road dirt splashing on the areas directly behind the wheels and a few areas of polish remains from a few visits to the '£5 wash centres'. With the registration plates removed the Evoque looked like this..
As you can see, a general expected condition for a regularly used vehicle. The wheels were firstly sprayed with a liberal covering of Auto Finesse Iron Out contamination remover and left to soak into the accumulated brake dust. Any ferrous particles present on the wheels will turn a shade of deep purple to indicate any chemical reactions are taking place. Whilst the Iron Out was left to work the door, boot and bonnet shuts were misted with an All Purpose Cleaner (APC) and agitated with a boar hair detailing brush to lift dirt out of hard to reach areas. Once all shuts had been cleansed, the wheels were given a pressure rinse to remove the majority of brake dust present. After the rinse, Auto Finesse Imperial wheel cleaner diluted at 5:1 was sprayed onto the the wheels through a foaming trigger head. An assortment of wheel brushes and wheel woollies were used to agitate any remaining brake dust from the faces, barrels and rear of the spokes. APC was also misted into the wheel arches and a long reach brush cleared any build up of mud and dirt before another pressure rinse of the wheels removed any brake dust and wheel cleaner..
Once the wheels were rinsed, a few stubborn areas of brake dust on the inside of the wheel barrels were given a second covering with Iron Out and left to soak once again whilst the cleaning moved onto the body. A citrus pre-cleaner was sprayed onto the front, lower sides and rear panels of the Range Rover to help break down and soften any surface dirt present. After 1-2 minutes a foam pre-wash was blanketed over the entire vehicle. The foam dwelled for 3-5 minutes whilst grills, badges and intricate areas were agitated with a boar hair detailing brush to remove dirt that would normally not be accessible with the wash mitt. The two bucket wash followed a pressure rinse to clear away the remains of the foam whilst the pressure blasted away most of the road grime, making the bucket wash safer by reducing the amount of grit that is left to remove..
Auto Finesse Lather shampoo was added to a bucket of clean water whilst a second bucket with only fresh water was placed alongside to rinse the wash mitt free of dirt and grit during the washing. Each panel was gently cleansed with a synthetic deep-pile wash mitt, after each section was washed the mitt was placed and shaken in the bucket of fresh water before reloading the mitt with wash solution. This reduces the risk of grit being re-transferred back onto the paint causing swirls and scratches. Working top to bottom, the Evoque was cleansed free of any remaining road grime working panel-by-panel to prevent the wash solution drying out too quickly. Bucket wash completed, the Range Rover was then brought indoors as the weather had started to turn..
Our Enhancement Detail includes a full decontamination to remove as many bonded contaminants from the paint (and other surfaces) as possible. This allows the paint to be as clean as possible in preparation for the machine polishing. The first stage of decontamination involves removing tar spotting from the paint using a dedicated tar removing agent. This solvent-based product was sprayed through a hand pump sprayer directly onto the panels to pre-soak the tar spotting. Between 30-60 seconds after the tar remover was sprayed onto the panels, a microfiber cloth was then lightly misted with the same tar remover and gently massaged over the tar spotting to remove them safely.
The second decontamination stage was to remove the ferrous fallout particles from the paintwork with Auto Finesse Iron Out that was applied through a hand pump sprayer onto all painted surfaces. Once the whole vehicle was covered in a generous amount of Iron Out, the product was left to work for around 10minutes. A chemical reaction of any ferrous particles would turn a deep purple, much the same as the reaction that occurred on the wheels...
Allowing the Iron Out to work for approximately ten minutes, the vehicle was then moved back outdoors to be thoroughly rinsed. Extra attention was payed to areas that were more likely to hold and trap any liquids such as badges, body gaps and trim areas. Now that the tar and fallout had been taken care of, the third and final stage of decontamination would be to clay the paint. This acts as an abrasive to gently lift any bonded contaminants such as over spray and stubborn fallout from the paint safely. An alternative to a clay bar that carries out the same task is a surface preparation towel, a polymerized rubber attached to a microfiber. The purpose of a surface prep towel over a clay bar is that the increased working surface area and thus covering more panels in less time whilst still achieving the same desired results. After checking the paint for smoothness, the Evoque was taken through the third and final decontamination stage using a surface preparation towel (clay bar alternative). Any remaining contamination that the previous stages didn't have the ability to remove would be lifted with a few passes of the towel. Gently working the towel over the paint with a soapy water solution as a lubricant. Once the entire vehicle was completely removed of all contamination, a second foaming was applied to work its way into all the nooks, forcing any remaining fallout remover and other product from water traps..
The Evoque received a final and thorough pressure rinse and was moved indoors to be dried down. A combination of drying towels and warm filtered air removed any water from all areas of the vehicle, the blower really becomes a great tool to force water from those areas that would normally drip repeatedly (and annoyingly!). After drying, any delicate trims, badges and other areas that could potentially be damaged by the polishing were masked off and the paintwork was measured to indicate any previous polishing and/or paintwork that may have occurred in the vehicles past. A measurement of the door shut gave a micron reading of 66 at the lowest point measured. The lowest reading from any panel measured was 109 microns and each panel ranged from 115-135 microns. The bootlid, bumpers and front wings were unreadable due to them being a non-ferrous composite plastic so a little extra care was given to these areas later on in the detail. Here is how the paintwor looked under some LED lighting..
Some medium-heavy swirling present as you can see, although no other deep scratches or defects to mention - which doesn't happen often! To tackle these swirls, it was decided that a microfiber pad system alongside a Flex 3401 VRG polisher would give the greatest cutting and finishing ability for the two stage machine polish. As this is an Enhancement Detail, any deeper swirls may have remained slightly although they would be improved upon greatly. The first stage of polishing used Koch Chemie F5 on a microfiber cutting pad to remove as many swirls as possible. Two slow sets of 6-8 crosshatch passes were enough to remove almost 95% of defects from all panels to reveal a beautiful grey-bronze pearl paint. The microfiber cutting pad is great at removing swirls, although it imparts its own defects in the process. This 'micro-marring' looks like a very very fine haziness in the paint that would be removed in the second polishing stage. An IPA wipedown followed the polishing sets to remove any remaining polish oils that could potentially mask any swirls remaining; giving the appearance of perfect paint until they are removed.
The second stage of polishing is a considerably less-aggressive cut. By removing as many swirls as required in the first polishing stage, the second now is only necessary to remove the 'micro-marring' mentioned and to boost gloss levels ready for the wax. Koch Chemie M2 was worked into the paint on a microfiber finishing pad with 3-4 slow passes in a single set, allowing the paint to be ready for its final IPA wipedown to reveal a bare and naked 95% perfect paint condition. A few images of the notoriously soft gloss black pillar trims that plague Range Rovers after the two stage correction (with no fillers/wax)..
Once the Evoque had undergone the second refinement stage and the IPA wipedown, it was time to lay down the first coat of wax. Discussion with the owner allowed us to decide that a combination of waxes would suit their requirements of seeing the vehicle through until the start of summer where a potential trade-in may take place. The owner also mentioned that they wanted something to make the colour really pop.
Auto Finesse Desire was laid down as the first of two wax coats. The Desire offers great aesthetic capabilities whilst having the longest durability of the entire Auto Finesse wax range, offering approximately 6months protection. The first coat was applied to all painted surfaces thinly and evenly with overlapping circular motions to spread the wax. Once the first coat had been spread over the entire car using the LED lighting to make sure every inch had been covered, the Desire was then left to cure for ten minutes. A fresh microfiber cloth was then used to gently buff off the wax residue whilst flipping the cloth regularly to prevent the fibers clogging. Before the second layer of wax can be applied a minimum of one hour is required after the wax was buffed off to allow for any secondary hazing that may occur.
Whilst the hour was passing, we moved onto the plastic trims, arches and sills. Gtechniq T1 Tyre&Trim was then sparingly spread over each trim to restore and protect the trims from a slightly faded plastic to a fresh satin finish. Excess product was then wiped away with a clean microfiber to help prevent streaking in the wet weather. Honeycomb grills at the nose of the Evoque were misted with a few light mists of Auto Finesse Dressle to effortlessly give a dark and grease-free finish that will dry evenly. Exterior glass was given a few sprays of Auto Finesse Crystal and a glass cloth spread the product until a clear and smear-free finish was achieved. The panoramic glass roof was treated also. The wheels were misted with a quick detailer and buffed free of dust and water spotting before the tyres were dressed with Gtechniq T1 Tyre&Trim to restore a brilliant 'as-new' appearance. Exhaust tips were restored from a burnt bronze colour using Auto Finesse Mercury and a fine grade wire wool. This combination allowed the stubborn emission staining to be effortlessly removed to reveal the original raw-metal finish.
Once the trims, exhausts, glass etc were completed it had given the Desire enough time to cure. A buff with a microfiber removed any secondary hazing and the second wax coat was applied. Auto Finesse Illusion was chosen for the top coat due to its highly gloss enhancing and flake pop capabilities that make the paint explode with life. By layering Illusion over Desire it allows a great durability vs looks compromise where the Desire provides the durability and the Illusion provides the stunning finish to protect any vehicle for months to come.
The interior received a thorough vacuum of all surfaces to rid a heavy build up of dust and sand from carpets and leather crevasses. Rear seating was covered in pet hair as well as a heavy sand build up on one side of the vehicle which were removed using a static and vacuum technique to remove as much of the hair quickly and effortlessly. All glass was cleared of light dirt and smudges with Auto Finesse Crystal and a waffle weave glass cloth to buff the glass to a perfect smear free finish. All plastic interior trim was dressed and protected with Auto Finesse Dressle to preserve the original satin finish of the dashboard and door trims. With a final inspection using a handheld sun gun the vehicle was inspected for any remaining product whilst the paint was given a final buff using Auto Finesse Finale quick detailer to help remove any wax streaks, boost gloss levels and add its own small protection to help prolong the life of the wax.Once the final buff was completed, it was time to step back and see the completed Range Rover Evoque in full glory after its 3 day Enhancement Detail..