Range Rover Evoque Convertible: pictures, video and specs
Everything we know about the Range Rover Evoque Convertible ahead of its full reveal in November
First hinted at three years ago in the form of an identically named concept car, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible will be the first-ever drop-top official Range Rover model – as well as being the first soft-top Land Rover since production of the Defender ceased in September 2015.
Here’s all that we know on the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, ahead of its official unveiling next month at the Los Angeles Motor Show.
Styling and roof design
Most of the main body panels on the Range Rover Evoque Convertible are expected to be identical to those on the standard car. As such, don’t anticipate many big changes between the two beyond the folding fabric roof on the Evoque Convertible.
We do know, though, that when folded away the roof will be stored on top of the boot and jut out above the Range Rover Evoque Convertible’s bodywork – just like a Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet.
Due to the constraints that come with turning a fixed-roof car into a convertible, it’s expected that the Range Rover Evoque Convertible will only be offered as a three-door.
The engine line-up for the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is expected to be identical to that of the fixed-roof Evoque models.
If true, this will mean the Convertible will be available with a 2.0-litre diesel engine – with 148 or 178bhp power outputs – and a 237bhp 2.0-litre petrol. Like the standard Evoque, a six-speed manual gearbox is expected to be standard on all diesels, while the nine-speed automatic will only be available with the 178 and 237bhp engines.
Four-wheel drive will likely be exclusive to the more powerful engines in the Evoque Convertible range – just as it is with the regular Evoque. Buyers wanting front-wheel drive will probably have to make do with the 148bhp diesel.
Given the Range Rover Evoque Convertible will be heavier than the fixed-roof car (due to the folding roof mechanism and extra chassis strengthening) its fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures may well be less impressive than those of the regular Evoque. This could have the effect of pushing some versions into a more expensive road tax band than their fixed-roof equivalent.
The extra weight will have a negative impact on performance, too, although what exactly that’ll be won’t be known until Land Rover announces official acceleration figures.
Land Rover has gone to great lengths to test its new drop-top SUV, with the Evoque convertible being put through its paces in the Crossrail tunnel network currently being built under central London. To make sure it’s just like any other Land Rover, the brand has also given the Evoque Convertible a gruelling all-terrain test at the Eastnor Castle estate in Herefordshire.
Even though the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is aimed at people who’ll likely never take their car off-road, it has been engineered to be very capable over rougher terrain.
So, while we still don’t know exactly what kit will come as standard, the Evoque Convertible should feature the all-terrain tech present on the fixed-roof Evoque – which ranges from hill-start assistance to a Terrain Response system that’s designed to maximise the car’s traction on a variety of different surfaces and road conditions.
The maximum wading depth of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is 500mm – the same as the hardtop Range Rover Evoque’s.
All the other features that are available as standard on the regular Range Rover Evoque should be carried over to the soft-top Evoque as well.
Interior and boot space
Like the exterior design, the Evoque Convertible’s interior layout shouldn’t change much from the existing car’s. So it should have the same chunky steering wheel and dials, along with Land Rover's InControl touchscreen system.
Pictures we’ve seen appear to show the same amount of legroom in the rear as the current Evoque, although headroom could be reduced when the roof is up. Boot space will naturally be affected by the roof mechanism, though – you should expect less than the 550 litres of the three-door Evoque Coupe.
Price and release date
Prices for the Range Rover Evoque Convertible aren’t known just yet, and won’t be until the car’s official reveal at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November.
However, as the regular Range Rover Evoque starts at just over £30,000, we’re predicting somewhere around the £40,000 mark for the equivalent Range Rover Evoque Convertible model – with top-of-the-line models going for close to £50,000.
An official release date will also have to wait until the LA Motor Show as well, although Land Rover has confirmed it’s targeting a spring 2016 launch for the Evoque Convertible.
Range Rover Evoque Convertible concept car reveal
The first time we caught a glimpse of the Evoque Convertible was at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. There, the car was finished in a unique ‘Causeway Grey’ paint colour and featured exclusive 21-inch ‘Titan’ alloy wheels. Inside, the concept had contrasting ‘Lunar’ and ‘Ivory’ leather upholstery, along with a Meridian sound system and Land Rover’s Dual View monitor.
When the concept car was revealed, design boss Gerry McGovern said: “This study is not a traditional convertible design execution – instead, we’ve worked with the balance of the Evoque's lines to retain its distinctive shape and create something that’s unique and, we believe, highly desirable.”
Our sister publication Auto Express took a look at the concept car when it was revealed at the Geneva show in 2012. Watch the video to find out what Mat Watson thought of it:
The most recent images we have of the Evoque Convertible come from a prototype being tested in the enormous network of tunnels being built for London's Crossrail transport system.
Although covered in camouflage, design cues from the revised Evoque can be clearly seen. The more aggressive headlights, larger side vents and chunky chin spoiler are all seen clearly on the front end.
Land Rover took the opportunity to test the car “in complete privacy” in the tunnels, but released a film of the event that showed it driving through, around and over obstacles to show that the drop-top Evoque retains Land Rover's go-anywhere ability. The obstacles included a pool of water, showing how the new model can still wade up to a considerable depth.
The Crossrail test was strikingly similar to the launch of the original Evoque SUV in 2011, where the brand showcased the model in Liverpool’s Edgehill tunnel – the world's first tunnel to be bored completely under an entire city.
Wireframe art project
In order to promote the Evoque Convertible ahead of its official November reveal, Land Rover has placed a series of wireframe sculptures around fashionable areas of London.
The sculptures were placed in parking bays at various high-profile London locations including Harrods department store on Brompton Road, Knightsbridge and some ‘notable’ Mayfair addresses.
The wireframe art project is almost exactly like the campaign used for the standard Evoque’s launch in 2011 and marks the start of a global tour before the Convertible’s November unveiling.
Land Rover wants to make sure that its new Evoque Convertible is just like any other car it makes. In fact, the brand says its new SUV will be “the most capable convertible in the world”.
The Evoque Convertible was taken to Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, where it took on steep, craggy inclines and muddy tracks, and even waded through a deep ford. Land Rover states the SUV can wade through water up to 500mm deep.
Mike Cross, chief engineer for vehicle integrity, said: “Thanks to a combination of innovative engineering and the application of advanced technologies, the Evoque Convertible will deliver a dynamic and assured SUV experience that has been tested around the world. We call it the convertible for all seasons.”