It was less than a week ago when Land Rover released a teaser for the upcoming Range Rover Evoque Cabrio and now they are back with another one, this time showing a near-production prototype undergoing final off-road testing. They describe the model as being the “world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible” and obviously it’s based on the three-door Evoque but without the metal roof as instead it has an electrically retractable soft top that turns the model into a “convertible for all seasons.”
Needless to say, this will be a niche model and we are curious to find out whether Tata Motors-owned Land Rover has made the right business decision to come out with an open-air Evoque taking into account a previous similar model such as the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet was axed due to slow sales.
The production version will effectively be an evolution of a concept that Land Rover showed back in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show. As far as the design is concerned, it will look pretty much like the three-door Evoque, but the rear end will go through some changes since the trunk’s shape has been modified in order to accommodate the soft top when it’s folded down. Speaking of the trunk, the cargo capacity will have to suffer considerably, but that shouldn’t be a problem for those who are in the market for such a vehicle.
Power will come from Land Rover’s well-known array of Ingenium turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines, with the most popular likely to be the 2.0-liter diesel that in the regular Evoque is offered in two different states of tune: 150 bhp & 380 Nm and 180 bhp & 430 Nm. There’s also going to be a punchier 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine rated at 240 bhp & 340 Nm while gearbox choices will be limited to a 6-speed manual and a 9-speed automatic sending power to the front axle or to an optional AWD arrangement.
Following its reveal next month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Range Rover Evoque Cabrio will go on sale in the spring of 2016.