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Range Rover Evoque Convertible out in open

Unique proposition: Range Rover’s first-ever convertible is billed as the world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible – and the most capable of its kind.

Niche luxury open-air SUV from Range Rover here in third quarter 2016, from $84,440

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10 Nov 2015

RANGE Rover has unveiled its Evoque Convertible – billed as the world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible – that will be priced from $84,440 plus on-road costs when it arrives in Australia in the third quarter of 2016.

As per the regular Evoque five-door wagon and three-door coupe range, the four-seater fabric-roofed crossover offers Jaguar Land Rover’s latest 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol and diesel engines, with the Si4 petrol at the entry level in SE Dynamic trim and the Td4 180 diesel just $395 further upstream at $84,835 in the same specification.

Two higher-series HSE Dynamic variants will be offered with each powertrain, priced from $92,015 and $92,410 plus on-roads for the petrol and diesel respectively.

That places Range Rover’s first-ever convertible well above the equivalent Evoque Coupe on which it is based, to the tune of $11,410 in petrol form or $15,415 as a diesel. The hard-headed version is currently only offered in top-line HSE trim, with the HSE Dynamic Td4 180 priced from $76,995 and the equivalent Si4 kicking in at $80,605.

For the money, Australian consumers are buying into the vehicle’s uniqueness – this is, after all, “the most capable all-terrain convertible in the world” – as well as its distinctive design and wind-in-the-hair attraction.

The lightweight fabric roof, which uses a fully automated Z-fold mechanism, stows in a claimed 18 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h. Raising the roof takes an extra three seconds.

Jaguar Land Rover promises space for four adults while providing a 251-litre boot and access to the luggage compartment via a ski-port. Its engineering team is said to have met the British manufacturer’s “most rigorous standards, ensuring exceptional structural rigidity, trademark refinement, outstanding levels of safety and unrivalled breadth of capability”.

Indeed, despite the fact that JLR describes the fabric roof as the longest and widest “currently fitted to any vehicle on sale today”, the acoustic insulation is said to ensure interior comfort on a par with the five-door Evoque – when the roof is raised, of course.

When lowered, the mechanism sits flush with the rear bodywork “for a sleek, uncluttered appearance”.

An extra incentive, and further explanation on the extra cost involved with the roofless version, is the introduction of a new hi-res 10.2-inch touchscreen with JLR’s next-generation infotainment system. This is the first Land Rover fitted with the so-called InControl Touch Pro, which is claimed to offer seamless smartphone integration, door-to-door navigation and a premium sound system.

A rollover protection device comprising deployable rollover bars buried in the rear bodywork has also been developed for the vehicle, deploying two aluminium bars within a claimed 90 milliseconds in the event of a crash.

The Si4 petrol engine produces 177kW of power and 340Nm of torque, while the Td4 180 churns out 132kW/430Nm. Both drive through a nine-speed automatic transmission and Land Rover’s Terrain Response all-wheel-drive system.

Full local specifications are still to be provided, but the heavier convertible (tipping the scales at 1967kg in Td4 guise) will be thirstier than the coupe, with JLR indicating that combined-cycle fuel economy will be 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres for the diesel. The current HSE Dynamic Td4 180 Coupe consumes 4.8L/100km.

Land Rover design director and chief creative officer Gerry McGovern described the convertible as “a vehicle for all seasons”.

“Its uniquely distinctive design and world-class engineering adds another dimension to the Range Rover family, further enhancing its desirability and appeal,” he enthused.

2016 Range Rover Evoque pricing*
SE Dynamic Si4 (a)$84,440
SE Dynamic Td4 180 (a)$84,835
HSE Dynamic Si4 (a)$92,015
HSE Dynamic Td4 180 (a)$92,410
*Excludes on-road costs

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