Land Rover Going Topless in Geneva

Maker to unveil Evoq convertible concept.

by on Feb.24, 2012

Range Rover will show a convertible concept based on the Evoque at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

Mention the idea of a Land Rover convertible and you’re likely to get a puzzled look or even an outright guffaw in response. But The British SUV maker defied conventional wisdom when it rolled out the topless DC100 concept during last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show and it’s about to take a step further with a show car that seems certain to preview a production ragtop.

Land Rover is the latest in a flood of maker’s to telegraph its plans for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show and its likely to generate plenty of interest with the reveal of the Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept developed by design chief Gerry McGovern’s team based on the 3-door Evoque Coupe.

Insight!

The hardtop recently named the North American Truck of the Year – along with an assortment of other awards – McGovern insists, “The Range Rover Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible.”

He notes that the concept is “not a traditional convertible design execution – instead we have worked with the balance of the Range Rover Evoque’s lines to retain its distinctive shape and create something that is unique and, we believe, highly desirable.”

There's little doubt Land Rover would like to add a convertible to its line-up if the public approves.

The show car features a full-retractable soft-top that tucks away under an automatic tonneau cover.  The traditional hatchback is replaced by a drop-down tailgate and, notably, all that still leaves what appears from the images to be a reasonable amount of space for four adults.

Significantly, the show car introduces a Roll Over Protection System, or ROPS, to offset the loss of the coupe’s roof and head-impact airbags.

The Concept maintains the rest of the array of high-tech features introduced on the hardtop Evoque, such as the Terrain Response system – which adjusts a wide range of vehicle functions, such as ride height, braking and shifting – to road and weather conditions, as well as the Evoque’s surround cameras.

Is the Evoque Convertible Concept just another show car? Quite possibly, indeed quite likely, the maker is continuing to sound out public response, as it first did with the DC100 last year, and is quite serious about putting a convertible into the Range Rover line-up.  We’ll be asking that hard questions at Geneva’s PALExpo Convention Center next month.

The idea of a ragtop SUV is not entirely new, by the way. Nissan currently offers a convertible version of its Murano crossover — though demand has not met the Japanese maker’s admittedly modest expections, something Land Rover undoubtedly is keeping in mind as it moves forward on the Evoque Convertible Concept.

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