Land Rover Confirms Plans to Produce Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Set to go on sale in 2016.

by on Mar.02, 2015

Land Rover has been testing its new Range Rover Evoque Convertible in the tunnels of London's massive unfinished subway project.

Apparently, the folks working on London’s massive new subway program, the 26-mile Crossrail tunnels, know how to keep a secret. Even as they’ve been working away on Europe’s biggest infrastructure project, 130 feet underground, British maker Land Rover has been using the partially completed tunnels to test out its new Range Rover Evoque Convertible.

The maker today confirmed the unusual SUV convertible will go on sale in 2016, though it isn’t saying much more about the project beyond what one can pick out in a short film taken while the Evoque Convertible was being driven through the Crossrail tunnels.

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“The tunnels are still under construction, so we had a unique opportunity to explore the vehicle’s all-terrain ability in unchartered territory,” said Murray Dietsch, director of Land Rover Programs.

While clearly unusual, the ragtop version of the Evoque won’t be a first in the utility vehicle segment. Nissan attempted to pull off a similar concept with the ill-fated Murano CrossCabriolet. That vehicle was killed off after just a few brief years on the market due to sluggish sales.

Land Rover today confirmed the SUV convertible will go on sale in 2016, though it isn’t saying much more.

Precisely why Land Rover thinks it will do better with the Evoque Convertible is far from clear. But it may be hoping that with its smaller size a ragtop version of the compact ute will be more visually appealing to potential buyers. Nonetheless, considering the modest sales of the overall convertible market would suggest that this offering would be more of an image car than a serious contributor to Range Rover volume.

Range Rover announced the Evoque Convertible was coming during the Geneva Motor Show three years ago, so it’s fitting it has made its announcement just in time for the 2015 Swiss show.

(Range Rover revealing refreshed Evoque in Geneva. For more, Click Here.)

A modified version of the Evoque’s new Rollover Protection System is expected to be included as standard fare on the new Convertible, several sources suggested.

The Evoque Convertible running through the CrossRail tunnel continued to wear camouflage, blurring some of the possible tweaks to its ragtop body, but it does appear to have gotten a few changes, most notably a new rear lip spoiler.

Evoque won’t be a first in the utility vehicle segment. Nissan attempted to pull off a similar concept with the ill-fated Murano CrossCabriolet.

(Click Here for details about TDB’s first drive in the Land Rover Discovery Sport.)

The prototype is shown clamboring over rubble in one part of the tunnel, but it remains to be seen if it will maintain the off-roadbility of the hardtop Evoque. Also unanswered is just how much extra weight the convertible modification adds to the base ute.

Pricing hasn’t been released, though one major British publication has estimated the Range Rover Evoque Convertible will be offered in the U.K. for something north of $50,000.

(To see more about Hyundai’s recall of more than 200,000 Elantras, Click Here.)

Land Rover is thought to be working on at least one other variant of the Evoque, a new high-performance model.

Senior company officials recently told TheDetroitBureau.com that their goal is to manage the compact luxury ute over its lifecycle to maintain its appeal. Evoque has become a critical part of the overall Land Rover portfolio, now serving as the British marque’s single best-selling product line.

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