RANGE ROVER EVOQUE CON­VERT­IBLE Si4 HSE DY­NAMIC

Oc­cu­py­ing the most niche of niches, this Evoque is a pe­cu­liar­ity that's sur­pris­ingly en­dear­ing

Car (South Africa) - - TEST -

R1 031 634

A9,47 sec 177 kw/340 N.m 217 km/h UTOMOTIVE odd­i­ties abound in the his­tory of the mo­tor­car. Some more re­cent ones, like BMW’S four-door-coupécum-suv X6, have suc­ceeded in at­tract­ing risk-tak­ing buy­ers; others, such as the Nis­san Mu­rano Cross­cabri­o­let, were mis­er­able com­mer­cial fail­ures (and, thank­fully, the lat­ter was never of­fered for sale in South Africa).

We men­tion the Mu­rano be­cause the ve­hi­cle you see on these pages – if your eye­sight re­mains un­af­fected by the in­tense So­lar Orange paint­work – fol­lows the blueprint laid out by the Nis­san: take an SUV and chop off its roof. 10,32 L/100 km 201 g/km

We were cu­ri­ous to nd out who, aside from game rangers and the Pope, would leap with ex­cite­ment at the prospect of a cabri­o­let-suv. There was cer­tainly a cho­rus of cyn­ics in the CAR of ce when the – take a breath – Range Rover Evoque Con­vert­ible Si4 HSE Dy­namic ar­rived for test­ing…

But here’s the thing: after driv­ing Land Rover’s ight of fancy, all of CAR’S road testers re­turned with grins on their faces as wide as the Evoque’s shapely hips. All but one, that is. That mem­ber of the team found the ve­hi­cle in­suf­fer­able, pen­ning the word “ev­ery­thing” in the neg­a­tives col­umn of the test feed­back sheet. Then again, he’s a Land Rover tra­di­tion­al­ist, and the Bri­tish brand isn’t ex­actly tar­get­ing those cus­tomers.

Nope, this sec­ond-most-ex­pen­sive Evoque is aimed squarely at those buy­ers for whom the abil­ity to make a fash­ion state­ment is far more rel­e­vant than the prac­ti­cal mer­its of own­ing such a car. Who cares if it costs more than a mil­lion rand when it draws as many stares as a R5 mil­lion su­per­car?

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