As longtime fans of the Range Rover Evoque, we were skeptical whether the design integrity of the vehicle could hold up if the distinctive sloping roofline was removed. To evaluate, we did two things: we had a look for ourselves and then discussed the matter with Land Rover’s Design Director and Chief Creative Officer, Gerry McGovern.
Our first view of the Evoque Convertible was with its roof up. We quickly decided it’s better off down; the rag top doesn’t quite match the form of the original Evoque, but it will keep the rain out. As we had hoped, seeing is believing—photographs cannot do this car justice. Combined with the marquee Land Rover clamshell bonnet the rising waistline now carries its “Evoqueness” and is further emphasized by a pinch of a tail above the boot. On the HSE Dynamic model we previewed, blacked-out trim elements add the necessary contrast to maintain the edge of the original design.
We met up with McGovern to ask a few simple questions.
Why an Evoque convertible?
The Evoque convertible is a natural progression from the original award-winning vehicle. I believe that there is a market for people that love the Evoque but want the ability to take the roof down and enjoy the elements. It has maintained the sophisticated surfaces and distinctive and compelling design that has made Evoque so successful. In Great Britain, the weather changes from one day to the next—some days we experience all four seasons in one day. This was the inspiration for us to develop an all-season convertible.
The sloping roofline almost defined the Evoque. Without a roof what’s the most distinctive element now?
The Evoque’s dramatic design is the combination of its overall robustness with its rising waistline and falling roofline. The convertible maintains the essence of the Evoque’s compelling design but with the roof removed it gives another twist and splash of fun to the Evoque’s design. What makes it unique as a convertible design is the rising waistline which gives added emphasis to the rear haunches as a consequence of the removal of the roof. This adds the the vehicles character and visual robustness.
You love to describe Range Rover products as athletes in well-fitted suits. Using that metaphor but being more specific, describe the Evoque.
If a Range Rover is an athlete in a well-fitted suit, then I would describe the convertible as an athlete in more relaxed attire.
While pricing and availability will be announced this week at the LA Auto show, we expect deliveries to begin early in 2016 and pricing to be aligned with the existing Evoque line-up.
Images courtesy of Land Rover