We told you last year that Land Rover was planning an Evoque Convertible – and here are the amazing official pictures to prove it.
The new Evoque Concvertible is the star of the company’s Geneva Motor Show stand. The new drop-top may be coyly called a ‘concept’, but it’s really our first look at the production version, which could go on sale in early 2013.
Video: Watch our video of the Evoque Convertible at Geneva
The Evoque, current Auto Express Car of the Year
, has been a huge success story for Land Rover and the company has been looking at ways to extend sales beyond the three-door Coupe and five-door hatchback models. This Convertible is it.
While it may not be the world’s first open-topped SUV – Nissan put the Murano CrossCabriolet on sale in the US last year – it should be the best-looking.
Based on the three-door Coupe, it retains all of the standard car’s design cues – such as a dramatic rising waistline – and simply adds a fully retractable canvas roof, metallic Causeway Grey paint and unique 21-inch Titan silver alloy wheels.
Inside, the concept is very well equipped with leather seats, surround cameras, an eight-inch touchscreen and a Meridian sound system.
The tonneau cover features sporty buttresses, while classic Range Rover features have been integrated into the design too, including a drop-down tailgate.
The fact that Land Rover has already developed a Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) shows you just how close to the showroom this project is.
With Terrain Response included, Land Rover claims the Evoque Convertible retains the kind of off-road ability the company is famous for, while it says the structural changes made have had limited impact on weight and rigidity.
That said, adding extra chassis strengthening to cope with the loss of the roof will inevitably mean the Convertible weighs more and isn’t as stiff.
While an open-topped model is sure to be most popular in markets such as the US, the Evoque Convertible will be a big hit in the UK, offering an alternative to conventional premium-badged drop-tops such as the BMW 3 Series Convertible.
Expect the production version to sit at the top of the range with only the most powerful petrol and diesel engines, priced from around £40,000.
In addition, a special edition Evoque produced with assistance from official design consultant Victoria Beckham will be revealed later this year.