Top­less Evoque fi­nally out

Land Rover deal­ers in KZN ex­pect de­mand to out­strip sup­ply for th­ese ex­clu­sive con­vert­ibles

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

AF­TER teas­ing the world for years, Land Rover has fi­nally un­veiled the Range Rover Evoque Con­vert­ible.

The de­sign­ers de­scribe this go-al­most-any­where cabrio as a “no compromise” ve­hi­cle for allsea­sons. It is the first Range Rover that can shed its top, yet in­side you will find all the knobs and di­als that gave Range Rover its lux­ury ti­tle.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover de­sign di­rec­tor and chief cre­ative of­fi­cer, dis­missed fears of scut­tle­shake, stat­ing: “The Evoque Con­vert­ible has been engi­neered to meet Land Rover’s most rig­or­ous stan­dards, en­sur­ing ex­cep­tional struc­tural rigid­ity, trade­mark re­fine­ment, out­stand­ing lev­els of safety and un­ri­valled breadth of ca­pa­bil­ity.”

Breadth of ca­pa­bil­ity is the new buzz­word at Landy, but what­ever it means, the sturdy good looks of the Evoque in top­less form will be sure to garner this fifth mem­ber of the Ranger Rover fam­ily a more than fair per­cent­age of sales in the global SUV mar­ket, which is fore­cast to grow by 20% over the next five years.

McGovern said Ranger Rover is pi­o­neer­ing an all-new SUV sec­tor in the Evoque Con­vert­ible, and pre­dicted the car will play a key role in con­tin­u­ing Range Rover’s 45-year suc­cess story.

The fully au­to­mated roof stows in 18 sec­onds and can be raised in 21 sec­onds, even while driv­ing up to 48 km/h. Safety hasn’t been over­looked, with a Roll-Over Pro­tec­tion De­vice fea­tur­ing de­ploy­able roll-over bars hid­den in the rear body­work. It de­ploys two alu­minium bars within 90 mil­lisec­onds in the un­likely event of a roll-over sit­u­a­tion, to cre­ate a sur­vival space for oc­cu­pants.

McGovern said that with the top up the Evoque Con­vert­ible is as quiet as the hard-top ver­sion and, bonus, with the roof low­ered there is still 251 litres of boot space.

Land Rover said the group’s new high-res­o­lu­tion 10,2-inch touch­screen in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem de­buts in this Evoque, with highly re­spon­sive and su­per-fast seam­less smart­phone in­te­gra­tion, door-to-door nav­i­ga­tion, 3G con­nec­tiv­ity and a pre­mium sound sys­tem.

Land Rover’s all-alu­minium four-cylin­der petrol and diesel en­gines, and nine-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, power the Evoque, un­der­pinned by Land Rover’s all-ter­rain abil­ity with a choice of four-wheel-drive pow­er­trains, Ter­rain Re­sponse® sys­tem, Wade Sens­ing and All-Ter­rain Progress Con­trol, to en­sure Evoque re­ally is a con­vert­ible for all sea­sons, as Landy claims.

The new Range Rover Evoque Con­vert­ible will be pro­duced at Land Rover’s Hale­wood plant in the UK, along­side the five-door and coupé body styles, and goes on sale from May 2016, in more than 170 mar­kets world­wide, in­clud­ing South Africa.

Pric­ing will start at £47 500 in the UK, which cur­rently trans­lates to a over a mil­lion rands in SA, ex­clud­ing im­port taxes.

But this model has been an­tic­i­pated for so long that Land Rover deal­er­ships in KZN ex­pect to have more de­mand than mod­els. Land Rover in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg there­fore ad­vises cus­tomers who want to drive one of th­ese ex­clu­sive Evo­ques, to drop in and reg­is­ter their in­ter­est early. — WR.

PHOTO: NEWSPRESS

With the top up, the Evoque Con­vert­ible is as quiet as its hard-top ver­sion. With the roof down, it has 251 litres of boot space.

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