Land Rover has a long and illustrious history but it wasn’t until the release of the Range Rover Evoque that it could reliably call itself a sales success. Unsurprisingly, the British brand is looking to spawn more derivatives off the back of its petite SUV superstar and this is the first we’ve seen – the convertible.
Land Rover has taken the unusual step of officially confirming production with a promotional video (below) – set in the tunnels that’ll soon make up London’s Crossrail network. Although we’re unsure of its real motives, Land Rover acknowledges it allowed engineers to drive the Evoque in complete privacy away from telephoto lenses.
Based on the three-door Evoque, the car now has with a fabric retractable roof in place of the standard model’s sculpted metal. It wears a camouflage vinyl wrap so we can’t tell too much else about the car. We can see the convertible has the pre-facelift Evoque LED light signature suggesting it could be the same concept we saw in Geneva in 2012.
The convertible Evoque in the video is shown splashing through water, driving up the tunnel wall and even crossing obstacles the size of boulders – suggesting it’ll still have the excellent off-road ability all Land Rovers are renowned for. The marque said it represented a unique opportunity to test the Evoque out in uncharted territory.
This isn’t the first time the Evoque has been launched (literally) below the radar. The five-door was launched in 2011 by being driven through Edge Hill tunnel in Liverpool – the first tunnel built under a major city – to demonstrate its ‘all-conquering’ all-terrain abilities.
We’re confident the next Evoque will be a performance model so we’ll have to wait to find out where in Earth they’re going to launch that.
Convertible or submersible?
There’s no confirmation other than the Range Rover Evoque convertible is scheduled to hit the roads in 2016. Likewise, prices are unconfirmed but, applying an increase of around £5,500 (the same as that on a Jaguar F-Type), it could start from as low as £35,000. We’ll have more information as its launch gets closer but, before then, take a look at our reviews of the Evoque’s main rivals – the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA.