After all the speculation and hype, the world’s first luxury compact SUV is finally coming to market as the Range Rover Evoque Convertible readies for its dealership premiere in 2016.
The new four-seat convertible is built at the same Halewood facility that also builds the Evoque four-door and two-door full cabin variants, and is due in Canada come spring 2016, priced from $64,990.
Land Rover says the shape of the Evoque lent itself quite well to the development of the open-top model, which also happens to be the first ever Range Rover convertible.
“Range Rover Evoque Convertible is a vehicle for all seasons,” said Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director and Chief Creative Officer. “It’s uniquely distinctive design and world-class engineering adds another dimension to the Range Rover family, further enhancing its desirability and appeal.”
Due in part to the high-belt/low roof design, the convertible Evoque is able to stay fairly true to the silhouette of the 2-door model. The electrically operated insulated fabric roof (the longest and widest in today’s market) folds in a Z configuration and stows itself flush to the rear bodywork in 18 seconds; it takes just three seconds more to unfold back into place over the passenger compartment. The operation can be performed at speeds up to 50 km/h. Trunk space is 251 litres (8.9 cubic feet), which is as deep as that of the “coupe,” though it naturally lacks the vertical clearance of the hatchback models.
The roof structure and assorted motors add almost 300 kg (652.5 lbs., actually) to the vehicle’s weight (1936 kg for the convertible vs. 1640 for the coupe).
For safety, Roll-Over Protection is provided by deployable aluminum bars hidden behind the rear seat head rests until they are needed. The interior also features Jaguar Land Rover’s next generation touchscreen infotainment system, InControl Touch Pro (the first application beyond Jaguar).
As expected from a Land Rover, the Evoque Convertible uses the same all-terrain technologies as its fully-bodied siblings with a nine-speed automatic transmission distributing power to all four wheels in accordance with the Terrain Response system, Wade Sensing and All-Terrain Progress Control.
As in the other Evoques, the driving force is the 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that puts out 240 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, and is able to take the vehicle to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds and to a top speed of 180 km/h.