2012 Geneva: Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept… to be or not to be

Article by Christian A., on March 7, 2012

About 4-6 weeks after Land Rover’s unveiling of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept at the Geneva Motor Show is when the company will decide if it will enter production. Land Rover said that the Evoque convertible concept is intended to ‘explore the potential for the world's first premium convertible SUV'.

Land Rover is currently monitoring the public’s response to the convertible at the show. A similar strategy was used by Land Rover earlier to evaluate how accepting the public will be to the DC100 concepts that could form the basis of the next Defender. As long as the response is positive, lowering the price of the drop-top Evoque would fit neatly into Land Rover's plan for the expansion of the reach of the Evoque model range.

This is partly due to the success of the smaller car and its continuing growth. The Range Rover Evoque convertible may be either two or four wheel drive and would be powered by either petrol or diesel too.

Land Rover engineers said that around 75kgs of strengthening would be required to get even near the hard-top version’s strength. As soon as the approval is given for the start of production, nearly two years worth of engineering and proving would have to be done before the Evoque convertible would be produced. It’s possible that production would be at the Halewood plant.

Land Rover is expected to study the demand for a drop-top Evoque since the company already has a full order book for the current version and doesn’t want to divert focus away from it towards a potentially niche model. The current Evoque has built 10,000 units and there were orders for another 60,000.

Gerry McGovern, the Land Rover Design Director, said that the Range Rover Evoque convertible concept is in development. He added that the Evoque lends itself beautifully to the concept of a convertible. This study is not a traditional convertible design execution, rather, it retains the distinctive lines of the car.

Moving inside, the interior of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque exudes fine craftsmanship that makes use of elegant design and high quality materials. According to McGovern, the strong yet simple architecture of the Range Rover Evoque’s interior is defined by the audacious intersection between dynamic vertical features of the center console and the solid horizontal cues of the instrument panel.

As expected of Land Rover, it permits its customers to further customize their Range Rover Evoque with a lavish interior. In fact, the compact SUV’s seats, doors and instrument panel are wrapped in soft, premium leather made more elegant by twin-needle stitching. These leather wrappings are complemented and contrasted by authentic metal finishes, which have been created with a level of craftsmanship that evokes the superior quality of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque.

The elegance and the premium nature of the Evoque’s interior are enhanced by the appearance of the compact SUV’s instrument cluster positioned beneath a compact curved binnacle. This instrument cluster features three-dimensional twin dials with chunky, illuminated chaplets and needles. These dials are accommodated in circular housings bordered by bright chrome rims.

For a sportier feel while on the road, Evoque compact SUV features a seating position for the driver that is lower than in its larger Range Rover siblings. Despite this, new Range Rover Evoque still retains the Command Driving Position. This configuration enables the Evoque to provide headroom that is more generous than that of other sporting saloons.

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