Land Rover showed off this Range Rover Evoque convertible concept at the Geneva motor show. Land Rover says the Evoque convertible concept ‘explores the potential for the world's first premium convertible SUV' and a decision on production could be made within the next two months. John Edwards, global brand director told Autocar: "We want a share of the growing SUV market."
The convertible has been built to gauge public reaction to such a vehicle. Land Rover used a similar tactic to assess the response to the DC100 concepts that could form the basis of the next Defender. If reaction is positive, however, a drop-top Evoque would fit neatly into Land Rover's plan to expand the reach of the Evoque model range, fuelled in part by the success of the smaller car and the continuing growth being enjoyed by the brand.
The Range Rover Evoque convertible could be two or four wheel drive and either petrol or diesel powered. Land Rover engineers say about 75kgs of strengthening would be needed compared to the big-selling hard-top version.
If the green light is pressed on production, almost two years worth of engineering and proving would be required before the Evoque convertible would be ready for production, which could take place at the Halewood plant.
Land Rover is keen to carefully consider demand for a drop-top Evoque because the company already has a full order book for the current version – with 50,000 built and orders for another 60,000 – and wouldn’t want to divert focus away from it towards a potentially niche model.
The Range Rover Evoque convertible concept has been developed by Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern and his team. McGovern said: “The Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible. This study is not a traditional convertible design execution – instead we have worked with the balance of the Evoque's lines to retain its distinctive shape and create something that is unique and, we believe, highly desirable.”
"We want to build on the Evoque's success. We see this as a natural progression. We create new segments with our products and see this as a chance to do it again. This is a design and engineering study and we'll gauge the public and press reaction.
"It's an authentic Land Rover. The Evoque lends itself well to a convertible. It's desirable and has charm. Open-top driving in a Range Rover will be a completely different experience."
The soft-top, four-seat convertible concept features a fully retractable roof system with a roll-over protection system. The Evoque's rising waist line and distinctive shape has been retained and the new convertible body style has been achieved with minimal changes to weight and torsional rigidity. The hood is housed in a tapered finisher with the roof mechanism stowed below the belt-line.