When you think of convertibles, you probably imagine balmy, palm-studded coastal drags, crowds of summer partiers, or Vin Diesel. Well, coverless cars are about to head for the mountains, too.
Range Rover has just created the world’s first luxury four-seat/four-wheel-drive droptop. More specifically, it has taken its spectacularly popular Evoque crossover—which has already sold a half-million vehicles since its 2011 launch—and simply chopped the roof off.
And though the chorus of “Why!?s” rang loud and clear, you could just make out the engineers in Coventry, England, saying, “Well, why not?”
The result is one of the most exciting yet polarizing vehicles in recent automotive history.
Purists went apoplectic at the idea of a convertible Range Rover—clearly forgetting that its daddy, Land Rover, has specialized in open-air vehicles since the release of its iconic Defender in 1948—refusing to accept that the words “SUV” and “convertible” could possibly belong in the same sentence.
Let me tell you: They do. The Evoque Convertible feels bulletproof, as adept at burrowing through knee-high snowdrifts as it is at climbing dirt gullies or blasting across sand dunes. Even while negotiating harrowing obstacles, wheels spinning uselessly in the air, it maintains its stoic British composure—not a creak to be heard from the stressed chassis.
You could certainly argue that the Evoque Convertible is a bit impractical (what with the reduced trunk space and heavier structural reinforcement all convertibles require), but it’s also a wonderfully charismatic vehicle—and, as the first luxury droptop ever created for all four seasons, one that has no competition whatsoever.
Bottom line: Even if the most treacherous obstacle you’ll likely face is a Costco parking berm, there’s something satisfying in knowing your convertible can survive a zombie apocalypse.
With an all-aluminum two-liter turbo-charged four-cylinder engine under the hood, the Evoque convertible boasts 240 horse-power and 250 pound per foot of torque and has a top speed of 130 mph.
Impressive Drop-Top Tech:
The top can be lowered in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 30 mph.
In case of a roll-over, dual aluminium roll bars behind the backseats will pop up in less than a tenth of a second.