The Range Rover Evoque has always been desirable but Land Rover hopes that the availability of this sleek Convertible body style will put this model into the best convertible cars category and take demand to a new level. It certainly looks sleek and the engineering has been completed in such a way that buyers still get a practical four-seat cabin with reasonable boot space. Plus, that legendary off road ability is unaffected.
So, what is the Range Rover Evoque Convertible really like? Very nice indeed actually. The engines are carried over from pokier versions of the standard fixed-top models, which means that buyers get a choice of either a 180PS TD4 diesel unit or a 240PS 2.0-litre turbo Si4 petrol powerplant. Diesel buyers get the choice of permanent 4WD or an 'Active Driveline' 4WD set-up that defaults to 2WD in tarmac use. This 'Active' set-up's standard on the petrol Si4 which makes 62mph from rest in 7.8s en route to 130mph. The TD4 diesel should feel stronger through the gears though, thanks to a potent 430Nm of torque. Range Rover Evoque Convertible buyers have to have the brand's smooth-shifting 9-speed ZF automatic transmission.
On 'Active Driveline' 4WD models, a 'Torque Vectoring by Braking' feature further enhances agility and safety by redirecting torque to counteract understeer. Off-road ability is enhanced with the fitment of All-Terrain Progress Control. This function maintains a pre-determined speed - selected using the cruise control function - in forward or reverse gears between 1.1mph and 19mph, allowing the driver to concentrate on negotiating tricky terrain.
The Range Rover Evoque Convertible body style is based on that of the three-door Coupe version of the model but adds a Z-fold electric fabric roof that can lower in 18 seconds (at speeds of up to 30mph) and rise again in just 21 seconds. In addition, an optional rear wind deflector can be quickly installed between the rear three quarter trim panels, enhancing refinement when the roof is stowed.
Once the convertible roof is lowered, discreet hinged panels located at the rear of the interior fold flush to conceal the mechanism, ensuring that the Range Rover Evoque's contemporary lines retain a clean and uncluttered appearance. A Roll-Over Protection Device features deployable roll-over bars hidden in the rear quarter panel.
As for the interior, well you get a four-seat cabin defined by luxury materials and soft-touch surfaces. The strikingly minimalist dashboard architecture juxtaposes the bold horizontal sweep of the instrument panel with the dynamic vertical rake of the centre console. All Range Rover Evoque Convertible models feature fixed twin rear seats, with a central bolster, and revised quarter trim speakers. Out back, the boot offers 251-litres with the roof open or closed and there's an optional ski-hatch for longer items.
This convertible is the kind of car Land Rover needs to be making. The kind of model that will lower the brand's age demographic - and get people talking in the showrooms. Yes, it's pricey - and the extra weight of the drop-top body style compromises efficiency (and practicality) a little. Still, we don't think that too many potential buyers of this convertible will worry that much about these issues.
These people will be attracted by the idea of enjoying what is currently the market's only SUV convertible. The idea of taking to the desert with the roof down has an undeniable appeal. As does the Range Rover Evoque Convertible. If you can afford it, we think you'd like one.Click here to find out more about our Range Rover Evoque Convertible range