Conquest is a Toronto-based outfit that specializes in armored SUVs and that heritage carries over to its first non-armored model. While the Evade may look to the novice eye like an armored vehicle, the hard-edged, no-nonsense exterior is tempered by an interior that promises an upper-level lesson in luxury.

The Evade borrows influence from Conquest's Knight XV armored utility vehicle but also previews the latest design language that the next Knight XV will inherit. Exterior elements include wrapping headlights and taillights, slimmed down fender flares, a hood scoop, a redesigned grille and a wider backdoor. The hinges, running boards and steering wheel are machined out of stainless steel.

The burly aluminum-mild steel blend body sits atop a Ford F550 Super Duty chassis. Conquest hasn't indicated the specific engine(s) that will power the SUV, but its admission about gas and diesel engines has us wondering if it won't be the same Ford 6.8-liter gas V-10 and Ford 6.7-liter V-8 turbo diesel options as the Knight XV. Whatever the specific engine, it will power all four wheels. Other confirmed equipment includes air ride suspension, front and rear FLIR night vision cameras, and roof-mounted, joystick-controlled searchlights with 360 degrees of motion.

The minute you tug the aluminum door handle open, the Evade goes from "bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks" to "doting, romantic high school sweetheart." The spacious interior offering 400 cubic feet (11 cubic meters) of space is laid out in 2 + 2 limousine style and sculpted with fancy materials like leather, composites and Alcantara. Options include executive-style reclining seats, a retractable flat screen TV and a driver partition.

Despite the elegant appointments, Conquest makes an effort to ensure that passengers in the Evade aren't lulled into thinking they're in a Bentley SUV. It incorporates some elements from the military-esque exterior into the interior but promises that those cues blend seamlessly without taking away from the overall luxurious look and feel.

Conquest plans to commence production this fall. The Evade will retail for US$579,000.

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