Friday 23 August 2019

Meet the hood-down luxury SUV: it's the new Range Rover Evoque convertible

Evoque - a car for all seasons
Evoque - a car for all seasons
Hood down on the Range Rover
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

They are calling it the world's first luxury compact SUV convertible.

Now, there's a mouthful.

It is probably easier to say the Range Rover Evoque convertible. Yes, a convertible with four-wheel-drive.

And it is due here in the first quarter of next year.

However, I don't have a price for it yet though I understand the sterling tag will start from £47,500, if that is any guide.

The conventional Evoque remains in high demand so it will be interesting to see how this goes down with the increasingly affluent luxury-car buyer.

The Convertible will be sold only in higher-trim levels (HSE Dynamic and HSE Dynamic LUX). And powering it will be the new 2-litre TD4 Ingenium diesel (178bhp) - likely to be by far the main choice here. However, there is a Si4 237bhp turbocharged 2-litre petrol as well.

It sounds like it could be fun - for those with the money to buy it.

Land Rover claim the automatic fabric hood stows away out of sight in just 18 seconds while it takes 21 seconds to raise and assume its normal cover - at speeds ranging up to 48kmh.

Apart from the money there is, however, another price of sorts to pay. Accommodating the accompanying drop-top paraphernalia means the car adds around 270kg - a pop-up roll bar system being just one of the additional necessities to ensure safety (others aid body rigidity).

We have to take their word for it when they say there is good room for two adults in the back. With convertibles this can be an issue as storage of the roof can invade passenger space.

Land Rover say the roof, which folds flush with the rear bodywork, is the longest and widest of its kind in any vehicle. There is also a 251-litre boot and a ski hatch.

Despite the fancy name, all the new versions will have four-wheel drive and loads of off-road ability according to Land Rover.

That conjures its own picture doesn't it? A convertible splashing through mud and water.

The new arrival also ushers in Jaguar Land Rover's next-generation infotainment system - this time with a 10.2ins touchscreen.

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