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Future models - Land Rover - Range Rover Evoque - Cabriolet

Geneva show: Land Rover springs Evoque cabrio

Raising the roof: Although presented as a concept, a decision could be made within weeks to put the Evoque convertible into production.

Range Rover Evoque Convertible to debut in Geneva to assess production future

Land Rover logo27 Feb 2012

By DAVID HASSALL

LAND ROVER could decide within a month whether to build a convertible version of its stylish Range Rover Evoque compact SUV, depending how people react to its surprise debut at next week’s Geneva motor show.

The iconic British brand caught everyone off guard this week by revealing the first photos of the drop-top Evoque, which has been developed under the guidance of Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern.

Describing it as “the world’s first premium convertible SUV”, Land Rover clearly does not regard the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet – which debuted at the Los Angeles motor show back in November 2010 and went on sale in the US last year – as being in the same class.

Believed to weigh only about 75kg more than the Evoque coupe on which it is based, the convertible concept features a fully retractable roof system, a rollover protection system and a drop-down tailgate.

Mr McGovern said the Evoque lent itself to a convertible conversion, with minimal changes to weight and torsional rigidity.

24 center imageHe said the concept would be used at Geneva to gauge reaction and assess the potential of a production model.

“The Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible,” said Mr McGovern.

“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.”

He said the Evoque’s distinctive rising waistline and shape have been retained, with the roof housed in a neat tapered finisher and the roof mechanism stowed below the belt-line.

The concept rides on unique 21-inch Titan silver wheels and is finished in a new metallic Causeway Grey paint.

Land Rover global brand director John Edwards said the company was excited to see the response to the concept.

“The Evoque Convertible Concept is a new twist to the Evoque story and explores the potential to further extend the nameplate’s appeal by giving existing customers more choice, while at the same time reaching out to a completely new customer base.”

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