“Range Rover Evoque Convertible”
First ever Drop Top SUV for the Brand
The Range Rover Evoque, which was based on the futuristic and stylish LRX concept vehicle, was launched by Land Rover in 2012. The production version remained remarkably true to the original styling of the concept show vehicle. That first Range Rover Evoque came in two body configurations: a three-door coupe, and a five-door version, that more closely resembled a sedan. The two body styles were available in three levels of trim: Pure – the closest true expression off the LRX concept vehicle; Prestige – the most luxurious execution of the Evoque; and Dynamic, the most overtly sporting Evoque example. Now, Land Rover is adding a new compact SUV to its Range Rover lineup: the Range Rover Evoque Convertible – the first ever convertible SUV to join the Range Rover line-up.
The regular Evoque’s exterior styling displays new interpretations of classic Range Rover design elements, including the signature clamshell bonnet (hood), the floating roof and solid, athletic ‘wheel-at-each-corner’ stance. Unlike any of its predecessors, the Range Rover Evoque displays a very dynamic profile with its rising beltline, muscular shoulder character line running the length of the car, and a unique and distinctive rearward taper to its floating roofline. The Evoque ragtop makes the Land Rover brand appealing to new customers in search of a unique combination of open-air luxury and refinement, coupled with the iconic marque’s legendary off-road capabilities. Sculpted corners aid in reducing the car’s visual front and rear overhangs, and the pronounced wheelwell arches contribute to the athletic image. Xenon headlamps with a signature design created by innovative LED light-blade technology continue as an available option.
Two trim levels are available for the new Range Rover Convertible: – SE Dynamic and HSE Dynamic. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible provides a four-seat interior, the next-generation Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system3 and unrivalled all-terrain capability. Both trims feature special exterior enhancements including a deeper, more aggressive front bumper with enlarged air intakes. The HSE Dynamic derivative also features slimline LED fog lights, body-colored side skirts, visually lowering the vehicle, and a dynamic rear bumper that houses distinctive twin exhaust outlets.
The Range Rover Evoque Convertible retains the basic design proportions of the five-door and coupe derivatives, with its acoustically-lined fabric roof open or closed. Interior volume and luggage capacity have been maximized for cargo versatility regardless of the roof’s position.
The roof features tension-bow architecture creating a defined silhouette that remains faithful to the original design of the vehicle, while the Z-fold mechanism folds flush with the rear bodywork for a sleek, uncluttered appearance. New frameless doors have also been developed to ensure a clean profile when the roof is stowed. Available exclusively in Ebony Black, the fabric roof echoes the distinctive design of optional contrast roof equipped on the Range Rover Evoque Coupe.
The roof system lowers in a mere 18 seconds and raises in 21 seconds simply by pressing the roof button on the center console. It also allows all four windows to be simultaneously raised or lowered for maximum convenience. A rear wind deflector may be quickly installed between the rear three quarter trim panels, enhancing refinement when the roof is stowed. The 8.9-cu. ft. luggage capacity of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is retained, whether the roof is open or closed. A Roll-over Protection Device features a deployable roll-over protection system hidden in the rear quarter panel. It is designed to automatically deploy two aluminum bars in 90 milliseconds in the event of a roll-over situation, creating a potential protection space for occupants.
Visually, The Evoque Convertible’s design is essentially the same as the rest of the Evoque’s lineup from the beltline down except that up front, the dynamic front grille displays an enlarged geometric mesh area, vent surrounds and a selection of six alloy wheel designs and finishes, ranging from 18- to 20-inches, adding further design differentiation between convertible and fixed-roof models.
Despite appearing identical to the Range Rover Evoque coupe below the glasshouse, the bodywork behind the front doors has been substantially re-engineered to accommodate the stowed roof mechanism, and the upper portions of the rear fenders have been redesigned to seamlessly integrate with packaging requirements of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible. An all-new tailgate and spoiler have been engineered to compliment the new design.
Moving to the inside, the Evoque Convertible’s interior takes the strong, clean architecture and quality materials of a traditional Range Rover and applies them in a sportier, more contemporary and compact manner. Designers also took inspiration from the forms of the LRX concept’s interior, capturing the center console’s slope, and the simplistic, graceful lines of the instrument panel. The design retains the concept’s distinctive storage area beneath the sloping console – an open structure that echoes the new model’s themes of lightness and efficiency. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible features a spacious and contemporary four-seat interior defined by luxury materials and soft-touch surfaces. The strikingly minimalist dashboard architecture contrasts the bold horizontal sweep of the instrument panel with the dynamic vertical rake of the center console.
All Range Rover Evoque Convertible models feature fixed twin rear seats, with a central bolster, and revised quarter trim speakers. The luggage compartment provides 8.9-cu. ft. (251-liters) of storage space with the roof open or closed. A ski hatch can be specified to accommodate through-loading of larger items for additional versatility. A new locking glovebox function is automatically activated with the central-locking system for additional security, even when the roof is stowed.
Technological innovation is an integral part of the unique appeal of the Range Rover Evoque. Building on this trend, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible evolves the line-up’s in-car technology with the debut of the all-new Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro™ infotainment system with available Connected Navigation3.
InControl Touch Pro™ features a 10.2-inch capacitive touch-screen with a 21:9 super-wide format and 1280×542 pixel resolution. This equates to an 80% size increase over the standard eight-inch touchscreen system3, providing graphics with unrivalled definition and smoothness. Solid State Disk (SSD) technology provides significantly faster response times than SD-card or HDD-based systems.
With no ‘hard’ buttons on this system, the homescreen presents the four most commonly required infotainment functions in one easily accessible window: Audio, Climate, Telephone and optional Satellite Navigation. These can also be accessed via steering wheel-mounted controls, while capacitive technology gives users the ability to navigate sub-menus and access functions using swipe, pan, and pinch-to-zoom controls, just as they would on a smartphone or tablet3.
These functions include the parking cameras, Eco Data, rear-seat climate-control settings and optional InControl Wi-Fi™ hotspot6. Steps between functions are reduced for enhanced convenience, and the interface is optimized for a more intuitive user experience. Navigation instructions appear in both the instrument cluster and the optional Head-Up Display Connected Navigation also features Commute Mode, which learns the driver’s daily commute to and from the home or office and can automatically offer alternative routes to avoid congestion using historical and real-time traffic information, and Approach Mode which displays a 360-degree interactive view of the driver’s surroundings on the infotainment screen as they get to within 656ft (200m) of their destination, and can even direct the driver to the nearest available parking space.
Vehicle’s specified with Connected Navigation feature InControl Wi-Fi™ as standard enabling the vehicle to support up to eight devices via a 3G hotspot for fast, reliable internet access on the move6.
Aligned with the rest of the Range Rover Evoque line-up, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible features various InControl technologies as standard or optional equipment.
The power source for the new Range Rover Evoque Convertible is a 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with Direct injection and Twin Variable Valve Timing that delivers 240 horsepower at 5,800 rpm along with 250 pound feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. The longitudinally-mounted front engine is coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission that gears energy to the Permanent Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system with Traction Control and Haldex coupling with specific Land Rover Tuning.
My test Range Rover Evoque Convertible was in HSE Dynamic trim, sporting a Yulong White metallic exterior finish with an Ebony cloth top and an Ebony Oxford interior. The base price was set at $57,275., while the final tally came to $58,270. After factoring in the Inland Transportation Fee.
SUMMARY: The Range Rover Evoque Convertible HSE Dynamic seems to evoke either a love or hate response regarding its styling. Perhaps a gentler like or dislike response terminology would be more appropriate. It draws a more favorable reaction from the feminine camp than from many males, who feel that its appearance should be more rugged. Regardless of one’s valuation of its looks, the compact drop top’s capability and off-road prowess are truly worth of Land Rover status. Nissan produced a convertible example of their Murano SUV a couple of years ago, which never became popular and is seldom seen on the road today.
While there are those who may question the validity of a convertible SUV, consider the Jeep Wrangler. The Evoque Convertible works, and in fact, works very well. It is fun to drive, is comfortable, not to mention luxurious. It will be equally at home on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, CA or on the Rubicon Trail, where the only issue might be the ground clearance. Approach, breakover and departure angles of 19, 18.69 and 31.0 degrees respectively provide exemplary all-terrain performance. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is designed to scale extremely steep 45-degree gradients, tilt to 35 degrees, and ford water up to 19.7-inches deep.
The Evoque Convertible is equipped with a variety of standard Land Rover off-road technologies, including the proven Terrain Response® system, which tailors steering, throttle, transmission, center-coupling and braking/stability response to the terrain via four driver-selectable settings: General; Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud and Ruts; and Sand. Also standard is Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist and Gradient Release Control. In addition, there are Power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, EBD, EBL, EBA, CBC, DSC, RSC, TCS, TSA, and EDC.
Active Driveline Four-Wheel is offered as standard equipment, increasing both efficiency and agility. During steady driving at speeds above 22mph Active Driveline switches from four- to two-wheel drive, reducing driveline friction increasing efficiency.
Other Advanced Driver-Assistance features include: a 360 degree Parking Aid, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Lane keep Assist, and a Driver Condition Monitor.
On the outside, bright-finish running boards; carbon fiber side vents, hood vents and mirror covers; and stylized valve caps are all available to create a vehicle that stands out from the crowd.
For those needing additional practicality, a variety of tow hitch accessories are available; allowing The Range Rover Evoque Convertible to tow up to 3,307-lbs. (1500kg).
The new Range Rover Evoque Convertible is a stellar entry-level luxury compact SUV, and admittedly, though the price doesn’t initially seem compact, it is really a bargain given all of its technological attributes, and road-going (or off-road) capability features. If you were a fan of the original Range Rover Evoque and you relish the sun on your face and wind through your hair, along with rock crawling, the Evoque Convertible s sure to tickle your fancy –it’s indeed a winner in its class.
SPECIFICATIONS: Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Base Price: $57,275.
Price as Tested: $58,270.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve turbocharged inline four-cylinder with Direct injection and Twin Variable Valve Timing.
Horsepower (bhp): 240 @ 5,800 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 250 @ 1,750 rpm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Drive Train: Longitudinally-mounted front engine / Permanent Intelligent All-Wheel Drive with Traction Control and Haldex coupling with specific Land Rover Tuning.
Suspension: Front – Independent with Long-travel coil springs and anti-roll bar.
Rear – Independent with Long-travel coil springs and anti-roll bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS, EBD, EBL, EBA, CBC, DSC, RSC, TCS, TSA, HDC, GRC, and EDC.
Tires: Continental CrossCountry 245/45 R2019-inch mounted on 5-“Y”-spoke with 5 separator spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 104.7 inches
Length Overall: 172.0 inches
Width: 77.9 inches w/o mirrors
Height: 63.3 inches
Curb Weight: 4,268 lbs.
Turning Circle: Not listed.
Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: 7.8 seconds – Top Speed = 112 mph.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.