Life might be a Cabrio for the Range Rover Evoque, old chum, ‘teased’ like a root perm as part of a series of controlled leaks from Land Rover
LAND ROVER is stretching its ‘Best 4x4xfar’ reputation ever further from off-road credibility with the upcoming Range Rover Evoque Convertible as evidenced by the latest leaked PR puff featuring a prototype barrelling through London’s new Crossrail train tunnel infrastructure.
Also ‘spied’ entering Land Rover’s UK HQ, lapping the Nurburgring and even skating along snowy Swedish back roads, the brand’s first soft-topped SUV looks for all the world like a jumped-up Audi A3 Cabrio wearing camo and hiking boots.
Set for a production debut sometime in 2016, some four years after appearing in concept form at the 2012 Geneva Show, the Evoque Convertible could blow in anytime, from this week’s New York show to LA in November. Both cities sit squarely within this RR’s demographic heartland.
Spied wearing the latest front-end treatment (albeit ‘disguised’ as not to give the game away too much), with all-LED headlights and a restyled grille treatment, the newcomer is clearly based on the more rakish three-door coupe’s profile. However, it boasts a unique Kamm-tail silhouette (just like the previous Audi ragtop), suggesting that quite a bit of fresh bodywork has gone into its creation. Certainly, the rear boot set-up is unique to this model.
It has been reported that the new Roll Over Protection System has required extensive testing in order for it not to pop up during the inevitable bush bashing that no owner will ever subject it too (barring a Brazilian of course…).
Engine choices ought to mirror that of the MY16 Evoque Series II, meaning low-emissions Euro 6-compliant 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium turbo-diesels as well as upgraded versions of the Si4 petrol units. Expect either front or all four wheels to be driven via a new nine-speed automatic transmission.
A Land Rover representative has already confirmed his desire to see the four-seater Evoque Convertible in Australia, so expect to see it land here sometime during the first half of 2016.
Targeting said Audi as well as the BMW 2 Series Convertible and Mini Cabriolet Prices, the RR will, predictably, attract a premium upwards of 15 per cent over the existing L538-series hardtop range, which kicks off from a fiver under $50K to well over $80,000.
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