The world’s first luxury SUV convertible has been produced by Land Rover: the Range Rover Evoque Convertible. Due to be on sale next spring, for £47,500, the car was only unveiled at the LA Motor Show this week.
Featuring a fabric roof that folds away in just 18 seconds, the car is undoubtedly going to be popular with those in warmer climes – LA being the perfect example. Speaking to Auto Express, Land Rover design director and chief creative officer Gerry McGovern explained their reasons for choosing the Evoque as their first convertible. “Evoque is a car that really resonates with people, which is why over 450,000 have been sold so far. It’s really changed the culture and attitude within our organisation, too, and this convertible is a natural progression for Evoque – but it wasn’t easy to do. The biggest challenge was keeping the purity of the design with the packaging necessary for a convertible. The rising beltline gives it distinctiveness, while helping to disguise the hood mechanism and allowing decent boot space. It still keeps its stance, though – it looks like a tough so-and-so.”
Overall, the convertible Evoque is just slightly longer than the standard version, as well as slightly wider and heavier. As a consequence, the speed is also a touch slower: the car will take 10.3 seconds to get from 0 to 62MPH, instead of the usual 9 seconds. To compensate, the all-independent suspension and anti-roll bars have been tweaked, as has the power steering. Most models will be diesel, with the TD4 178bhp Ingenium engine.
Inside, the car can seat four people on its very comfortable leather chairs – having lost one seat to the folding mechanism. If there are only two of you, you can even fit an optional wind deflector behind the front seats, allowing you to keep your hairstyle intact! Head and leg room are decent throughout the car, with enough boot space to accommodate most reasonable luggage needs.
As well as that folding roof, the car also has a new toybox of technology. It contains the latest InControl Touch Pro system with a 10.2-inch touchscreen and 3G connectivity, which can host smartphone-compatible apps, navigation and much more. The car also has autonomous emergency braking, as well as the latest driver assistance programme.
AutoExpress report that the ride quality is excellent, with structural rigidity having been preserved despite the lack of roof. Even when tackling tough off-road situations, the Evoque convertible still makes passengers feel entirely comfortable and secure. We can’t wait to take this new model for a spin!