THERE has been a mixed reaction following the reveal of the long awaited Range Rover Evoque Convertible which will be the world’s first luxury open top compact SUV when it goes on sale this Spring writes Bryan Longworth.
Starting at £47,500 the Evoque convertible is the fifth member of the Range Rover family combining the bold design and refinement of the Evoque with comprehensive specification and a sophisticated folding roof creating an all season car.
Land Rover say the design ensures a distinctive profile with roof up or down and that the lightweight fabric hood stows in just 18 seconds at speeds of up to 30mph describing the car as the most capable all terrain convertible in the world.
There is space for four adults with a 251 litre boot that has a ski hatch and a next generation infotainment centre with a 10.2 inch touchscreen plus a host of other high tech kit.
Power will be provided by a petrol and ingenium diesel engine and when the car goes on sale in the spring it will be available in HSE Dynamic and HSE Dynamic LUX derivatives.
Evoque convertible has a roll over protection device featuring deployable roll over bars hidden in the rear bodywork which deploy two aluminium bars within 90 milliseconds in the event of the vehicle overturning to create survival space for the occupants.
It is being produced at the Halewood plant and will incorporate nine speed automatic transmission with the renowned terrain response system, wade sensing and all terrain progress control to ensure the car is a convertible for all year round motoring.
Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer commented: “Range Rover Evoque Convertible is a vehicle for all seasons with its uniquely distinctive design and world class engineering adding another dimension to the Range Rover family further enhancing its desirability and appeal.”
However, reaction to the topless Evoque has been mixed with quite a few Range Rover admirers saying they are not too happy about such a convertible and feel that a soft top for such a vehicle does not suit it and that it looks better with a hard top - it would be interesting tO know what real Evoque enthusiasts and owners feel about the new model.
I think the Evoque convertible will have more appeal to female owners and that it won’t be long after going on sale before it is seen on the school run especially and that it will replace some of the up market 4x4 offerings from Range Rover, Mercedes, BMW and Audi that are driven by some mums taking their youngsters to school.
Personally I am not too sure if the shape of Evoque is suitable for the world of convertible cars especially when it is in topless mode and if I was going to buy an Evoque it would certainly be the hard top variety because I have always considered that to be a very desirable 4x4 since driving it on a demanding route in Scotland on the Press launch several years ago.
As mentioned earlier this is the world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible and other premium manufacturers especially those in Germany will no doubt be very interested in the sales reaction to the new Evoque and if it will justify them taking the hard tops off some of their four wheel drive cars and replacing them with a soft or folding metal roof.
Verdict: An all season Evoque.
Model: Range Rover Evoque Convertible.
Engines: Petrol and diesel.
Roof: Folding soft top.
Opening time: 18 seconds.
Price: From £47,500.