GO-ANYWHERE ABILITY OF THE 4WD OPEN-TOP EVOQUE GIVES NEW MEANING TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Land Rover has released footage of its Range Rover Evoque Convertible being tested off-road ahead of the car’s public reveal at next month’s Los Angeles motor show.
Based on the three-door Evoque, the convertible features a fully retractable and fully electric fabric roof, four seats and a drop-down tailgate similar to that of the full-sized Range Rover and the Mini Convertible.
Land Rover’s design director, Gerry McGovern says the company has worked with the balance of the Evoque’s lines to retain its distinctive shape and create something that it believes is highly desirable.
It’s certainly distinctive, and while the car in the video wears camouflage, it’s clear there have been minimal styling changes from the concept that was shown at the 2012 Geneva motor show.
It will also be a true Land Rover, according to the company’s chief engineer for vehicle dynamics, Mike Cross. He says “Land Rover prides itself on being a class leader when it comes to all-terrain capability, and the Evoque Convertible is no different.
“Thanks to a combination of innovative engineering and advanced technologies, the Evoque Convertible will deliver a dynamic and assured SUV experience that has been tested around the world. We call it ‘The Convertible for all Seasons’.”
The convertible is likely to be offered with the same engines as the regular Evoque, meaning four-cylinder 2-litre petrol and diesels.
And while the video proves that four-wheel-drive versions will have the sort of go-anywhere ability we’ve come to expect of a Range Rover, cheaper and more fuel-efficient front-wheel-drive models will also be offered.
The Evoque Convertible will also benefit from all the updates introduced to other Evoque models earlier this year, including an improved touchscreen entertainment system and the option of a new nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The convertible will be built alongside the existing three- and five-door Evoques at Land Rover’s Halewood factory, near Liverpool, with UK sales starting in mid-2016 and customer-order only for New Zealand.
It’s by no means guaranteed that the new variant will be a success, given how different it is to any other SUV on sale. However, some other manufacturers are already thinking along similar lines.
Citroen showed an open-top SUV concept at last month’s Frankfurt motor show, and Audi’s Q3 SUV was previewed by a convertible called the Cross Cabriolet Quattro Concept.