Land Rover will reportedly launch a version of the Evoque with a large panoramic roof instead of doing a full convertible.
That’s probably for the better. The Evoque convertible, unveiled as a concept at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, didn’t look bad, but it looked so unlike a Land Rover that it sent our brains into diagnostic mode.
Of course, the Evoque itself was a stretch for Land Rover, but it stretched the company into a profitable niche. Plenty of people can find use for small crossovers, not many people can find use for convertible crossovers. Most that do buy Jeep Wranglers instead.
The hardtop Evoque attained its commercial and critical success by being a fashion item, but it’s also a pretty good car underneath. The Evoque convertible would have moved the needle too far away from practicality to make much sense.
The two-door hardtop Evoque is a good example of just how fine that line is. It looks great, but since it’s basically an SUV coupe, it’s not very practical.
Shedding the roof would produce a big, heavy convertible that wouldn’t be any better looking, but it would be completely useless.
With the Evoque convertible off the table, Land Rover will concentrate on its more traditional models. The LR4 and Defender will likely migrate to the new all-aluminum platform used by the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, so watch this space.