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Range Rover Evoque Convertible

RAnge Rover Evoque ConvertibleEvery once in a while, a car comes out that’s different – something that’s hard to put into a box.  This is what Range Rover have managed to do with their new Range Rover Evoque Convertible.

On the one hand, what you think of when the name “Range Rover” pops into your head is a big, tough 4×4 that can carry the troops and tackle snow, mud, sand and grass with ease. As this is a “Range Rover” rather than a “Land Rover”, you probably also think of doing all this bush-bashing in luxurious conditions. Now let’s think about what a convertible usually means.  You tend to think about fun, about being carefree, about sunshine and about style. You tend to think about smaller vehicles.

So what happens when you combine the two concepts and produce the Range Rover Evoque Convertible?

OK, the regular Range Rover Evoque is one of the smaller Range Rover and Land Rover models, as it fits into the compact SUV category.  This means that it’s more than suitable for turning into a convertible in a way that its larger siblings just wouldn’t get away with. Chop the top off a big Discovery and the result would look a bit ridiculous at worst or like something that had escaped from an Outback touring company at best. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible manages to look right – it has the fun, compact vibes of a real convertible but also has the chunky dominant stance of an SUV… and the ability to go anywhere with the full-time 4×4 transmission we’ve come to know and love in the Range Rover and Land Rover line. You might be thinking “dune buggy” or “beach buggy”. You probably could take the Range Rover Evoque Convertible for a spin on the beach but it’s a lot classier than the typical dune buggy. If I could coin a name for this type of vehicle – a fun little topless vehicle that can go off-road with ease – I’d call it a “Picnicker”. After all, if you like eating al fresco and don’t want to lug the esky and the picnic rug for miles, and possibly want the option of picnicking in the car while enjoying the sights and sounds of the great outdoors, then a topless 4×4 is exactly what you need.

The Range Rover Evoque Convertible has a wading depth of 500 mm (that’s half a metre), 215 mm of front axle ground clearance, an approach angle of 19° and a departure angle of 31°, so it’s not just a pretty face: it can really go off road! If you do make the most of the wading ability of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, then it’s got Wade Sensing that uses radar to detect how deep the water in front of it is – and warns you when it’s getting deeper!

It might sound like a different concept but it works. The styling of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is innovative but it works. Fabric top up or top down, it looks good.  It’s got the chunkiness we’d expect in a modern 4×4 but it doesn’t look weird with the top down and still manages to say “Let’s play” rather than “Roll on out, troopers,” which is what previous attempts at the topless 4×4 concept (e.g. from Land Rover’s big rival Jeep) tended to look like. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible has enough curves (love the wheel arches) to stay well clear of the boxy military look. It also has some other fun little quirks – like the way that the approach lights on the door mirrors project the image of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible onto the ground.

As you would expect from this well-known British marque, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible has a 4WD drivetrain, which has been coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters. The drivetrain comes with the Active Drivetrain system that hops from 2WD on the road to 4×4 off the road almost as soon as you press the button. You have the choice between two engines, where the main deciding factor will be whether you prefer torque and fuel economy over speed and power.  The 2-litre diesel engine (the TD4 Ingenium turbodiesel) is the one to go for if torque and fuel economy are your thing, as this engine has a maximum torque of 430 Nm at 1750 rpm and a combined fuel economy figure of 5.7 L/100 km compared to the 340 Nm at 1750 rpm and 8.6 L/100 km of the 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine (the Si4). The petrol engine, on the other hand, has the better power, top speed and 0–100 time at 177 kW, 209 km/h and 8.6 seconds respectively compared to 132 kW, 195 km/h and 10.3 seconds. Both engines have 4 cylinders and both hit the peak of the torque curve at 1750 rpm.

The Range Rover Evoque Convertible has plenty of driver aids to ensure that you really do have fun on the road or off it. One such feature is the All-Terrain progress control, which monitors what sort of surface the wheels are tackling and has a launch feature that lets you pull away nice and easy, even if you’re on something slippery like ice or (more likely for the typical Australian driver) sand. The Terrain Response System is rather like the drive mode selection found in other vehicles, allowing you to automatically adjust everything from the differentials to the chassis system and the gearbox to suit the current terrain – including mud, sand and snow.

On the road, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible has adaptive cruise control that can sense when a car is ahead of you and will adapt your speed accordingly. The 360-degree park distance control system includes side sensors as well as front and rear sensors, making parking a breeze. These sensors also kick in with the Blind Spot Monitoring. Other safety features and driver aids include the lane departure warning system (which vibrates the steering wheel if you’re drifting and wandering) and the driver condition monitor (which detects if you’re getting tired and sleepy)

The driver and three passengers are able to enjoy getting out and about wherever they fancy with the Range Rover Evoque Convertible. This is a four-seater with two doors, but the back seat is still pretty roomy, especially for a compact car. The boot space behind the back seats is bigger than you might think and has a ski hatch for long loads if needed. The front seats have 12-way electric adjustment and lumbar support in the Range Rover Evoque Convertible HSE Dynamic.

The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is fitted out with a navigation system, iPhone integration, Bluetooth preparation and more!  The 12-speaker sound system has been carefully planned to work in a convertible, meaning that you get to hear all the sounds on your playlist crisply and clearly – when you don’t want to listen to the sounds of nature like you can in a convertible. The ambient lighting system in the Range Rover Evoque Convertible HSE Dynamic model is particularly fun, with a range of colours and brightness levels possible (dim red? medium level blue? bright purple? just plain old white or yellow? All yours at the touch of the screen).

All the information about the driving mode, the wading sensor, the approach angle and departure, the sound track playing and other information is all displayed nice and clearly on a 10.2-inch full colour touch screen that sits very nicely in the front dashboard where it’s easily visible but doesn’t get in the way of the driver.  The driver gets another information display sitting nicely between the rev counter and the speedo AND an optional head-up display projecting important info (like current speed, current gear and the speed limit) onto the bottom of the screen.  If you have a tendency to forget where you’ve parked your vehicle, then you can use Land Rover’s special InControl Connect Pro to record your parking location and send it to your smartphone (along with other details about your car).

And if the rain does come when you’re out and about in the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, the clever Z-folding design allows you to put the top back up even if you’re going along the road at anything under 48 km/h.

This is a car that is bound to appeal to the driver who likes a bit of fun and plenty of technology. While the idea of a convertible Range Rover might raise a few eyebrows at first, the reality of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible definitely works and has opened up a whole new market segment for the last half of the 2010s.

Current model series include:

  •  Range Rover Evoque Convertible SE Dynamic
  • Range Rover Evoque Convertible HSE Dynamic

For any more information on the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Range Rover dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!