Hello and welcome to to wilderness… in Tuscany.
When Land Rover introduced the LRX Concept at the Detroit Motor Show in 2008, the press and the spectators alike were curious and positive about it, but kind of dubious too. “Yes, beautiful. But the final version won’t look anything like the concept car”.
Well, the result of the concept, the Range Rover Evoque was put on sale in 2011 and it looked almost exactly like the concept car that preceded it. A unique car, with no real rivals back then, and very few even today. Carmakers do and undo and create and destroy with a constant eye out for the competition but then they don’t like it when the press compare their vehicles. As an idea, and please don’t insult me too hard, the only car that’s truly similar to the Evoque is the Mini Countryman. But you can’t realistically compare them because, if nothing else, the price gap is too obvious. Even the Evoque’s cousin, the Jaguar F-Pace, isn’t a real rival because it’s a bit more expensive and a bit bigger. Land Rover had a clear strategy, they created a car which created a sector that wasn’t there, they made it nice, they made it good and it obviously paid dividends. Literally. Because they sold those in packs. And so, double or nothing, Land Rover presented the Evoque convertible. And again, “Yes. Fantastic. But they’re never gonna make it.”
Well. It’s here. And it is fantastic.
The Range Rover Evoque convertible is a… convertible Range Rover Evoque. In that there’s no style malarkey or anything like that, they simply cut the hard roof off and put a retractable soft one instead. It is, as people in the know would say, a leisure car, a lifestyle car, for five people. It has the same basic engines (Ingenium) and optionals as the standard version and the diesel I’ve tried, the 180 HP TD4, is fluid but it isn’t that fast, the car is a little heavier because since there’s no roof the chassis had to be strengthened. You won’t set a record time at the ‘Ring, but 180 HP is enough to get from A to B, A being Avignon and B being Bordeaux, with ease.
The Evoque Convertible belongs in the rivieras and in the pretty ski resorts of France or Switzerland and it is, please pardon me if I get a bit technical here, a cool car. It knows it is cool, it wants to be and it isn’t hiding. However, it is still capable off road with the phenomenal Terrain Response, the complex, in-house built traction system which detects at any given moment, and for each individual wheel, how much traction there is and what terrain you are on. It works brilliantly and it makes it even better than its big sister, the RR Sport, although it must be said that the latter is heavier, bulkier and bigger.
The Evoque Convertible is surprisingly complete. You can go down and dirty off road with it and then put some white gloves on, wash it clean, and drive to the French Riviera.
Prices start at $ 52.000 for the North American market and around 48.000 £ for the British market and that’s not cheap but honestly, if you can afford it, it’s worth every penny.
Oh, and by the way, you can have it in any colour you like. As long as it is Orange.
words, pictures and video: Ale Renesis
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