The long-anticipated and frequently spied Range Rover Evoque Convertible is now out in the open, revealed in London this week ahead of a mid-2016 European launch.
An Australian debut for the topless Evoque has also been confirmed for the third quarter of 2016, with a starting price of $84,440 plus on-road costs.
The Evoque Convertible's pricing marks a significant leap beyond the entry model in the 2016 hard-top range, which begins at $51,995 (plus on-road costs) for the eD4 Pure 2WD manual.
However, the new topless range is priced and equipped more in-line with the high-spec roofed models, which are much closer at $76,995 and $80,605 respectively.
Billed as “the world’s most capable all-season convertible”, the new ragtop small SUV joins its hardtop five- and three-door siblings in the newly refreshed 2016 Evoque range. (See our review of the revised Evoque here.)
“The Evoque’s elegant design proportions lend themselves to the creation of a Convertible, and it’s fitting to reveal the vehicle against the backdrop of one of the world’s leading centres for art and design education here in the creative hub of London,” Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern said.
Full details on the new model are still to be revealed, although Land Rover promises a comfortable four-seat interior and a “proper” 251-litre boot with a ski hatch through the centre of the second row.
Land Rover says the Evoque Convertible's fabric roof, which can be raised in 21 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h and stows away in 18 seconds, is the longest and widest "currently fitted to any vehicle on sale today".
The roof also also boasts a layer of acoustic insulation designed to boost interior comfort. And, even when stowed away, the roof's storage space leaves the 251-litre boot capacity unaffected.
A roll-over protection system is also in place, with deployable bars hidden in the rear bodywork. The aluminium bars appear within 90 milliseconds in "the unlikely event" of a roll-over situation.
The new model will be offered with Si4 petrol and the company's new Ingenium diesel engines, with SE Dynamic and HSE Dynamic trim grades confirmed.
A new 10.2-inch touchscreen will also feature, although it is unclear if this will be offered in both model grades.
The decision is no surprise: SUVs continue to be a growing force in the global market, and the Evoque is Land Rover’s best-selling model with half-a-million examples sold to date.
The carmaker is likely betting that the combination of sharp looks, SUV proportions and open-air motoring is going have plenty of appeal with buyers.
If it does well, there’s every chance the Evoque Convertible will be followed by rival offerings in the near future.
2016 Range Rover Evoque Convertible pricing (plus on-road costs):
Si4 SE Dynamic Convertible - $84,440
Td4-180 SE Dynamic Convertible - $84,835
Si4 HSE Dynamic Convertible - $92,015
Td4-180 HSE Dynamic Convertible - $92,410