Land Rover up a challenge: succeeding in the unlikely marriage between a 4x4 and a convertible ?? In other words, allow out of box hair in the wind. The result? Here is the Range Rover Convertible, and it is a marvel. But he meets his double contract? The Evoque is the story of the greatest success of all time for Land Rover. A true masterpiece of automotive design the compact SUV of the English manufacturer (the Tata Indian ownership) has surpassed?? despite its prohibitive tariffs, sold 500 000 copies?? 23,000 in France alone. But already available in 3 and 5 door, there were no more possibility to extend the range to even ride the wave of this incredible success?? Unless innovate and take risks. It is the dares challenge with great courage Land Rover by launching a completely new convertible version in the category.
The first 4x4 Convertible?
But is it really as claimed by Land Rover the first of its kind? Tough question because even within the range of Land Rover Defender has been shown time immemorial version tarpaulin as its historical competitors Mercedes G-Class and Jeep Wrangler. Not to mention the friendly and Santana Suzuki Jimny discoverable whose versions have been delighting tourists in many exotic destinations. True franchisors, they all claim, however, complex and forbidding manipulation of their top contrasting with modern convertibles.
Then the precursor SUV Convertible would it rather the Nissan Murano Cross Convertible? Released in the US only, is one of the biggest chess manufacturer Yokohama. In question, certainly, her little graceful design that triggered the smirks. In addition, pure urban SUV, he showed no ability to stray too far from the asphalt. He disappeared 2 years ago. So, gifted offroad?? as you will see later?? and modern convertible, it can be considered that the Evoque is the first to combine the best of both worlds?? And with style!
Star and canvas
Because, yes, the Evoque Cab is a true convertible. No unsightly poles, no castrating amounts as the DS3 Cabrio and Fiat 500 C, the top folds completely and electrically into a space on top of the trunk in 18 seconds without any effort other than to keep a button pressed on Central console. And this is the norm today, the soft top can be activated while driving up to 48 km / h. The result is magical, not only the beautiful bodyline of the Evoque is set value?? only the windshield emerges?? but the impression of freedom in Rolling is total. And no fear in the event of rollover hoops deploy in 46 milliseconds behind the headrests of the rear seats.
Stronger, turbulence still very limited in the front seats and the heating is efficient enough to do, whatever the season, one of the most pleasant convertibles to roll. However there are no free lunches, trunk space loses 251l with almost 30% against the 5-door, only a ski flap (optional, of course) can accommodate long objects.
On the rocks!
Discoverable, the Evoque is nevertheless to succeed his bet, be worthy of an all-terrain, especially when wearing the Land Rover logo which requires all its models, even the most luxurious, retain actual abilities 4x4. This is perhaps where the small SUV us most impressed. Equipped with snow tires is to begin on a groomed ski trail that our four-wheel drive Evoque worked miracles. And as always with Land Rover with ease thanks to the knob selection?? recovery since by many competitors ?? on which you simply select the type of terrain you encounter (snow, mud, sand, Stony) for the suspensions, differential, ESP, and the gear ratios are configured accordingly. The result is fun as a little crazy!
But it is when a serious attack crossing route that the Evoque Convertible really shows its potential ?? And overcrowded facilities (there still optional). First obstacle: a dizzying descent that SUV rolls down serenely through its angle of attack more than adequate, but especially its Hill Descent Control. Once activated, no need to touch the brake, the car does it for you and control its descent; you just hold the steering wheel for steering. Once we arrive to trust electronics is impressive especially since it is possible on the Evoque sets the speed at which you want to get off. Even more crazy and new innovation of Land Rover, the ATPC function (All terrain Progress Control) that does the same thing, but uphill!
Add to that the automatic mode of fording, and you almost have a standalone 4x4! So much so that one wonders what fun is there to do off-road if everything is automatic! Finally last test, capital for the crossing, and a natural problem of self wearing a soft top. Rigidity Land Rover announced it sufficiently stiffened the chassis on the Convertible to maintain torsional resistance equivalent to that of versions 3/5 doors. It was enough of us a bridge crossing (the balance drive on three wheels and the fourth in the blank) to find that it succeeded. While this exercise imposes a maximum twist on the cell doors and the trunk always open, we checked, without any problems or grinding. Even the soft top closes / closes without a fault. Test yourself by putting a wheel on a sidewalk, you will find that this is not the case for many traditional convertibles!
On the road??
But no miracle, reinforcements added to provide this rigidity, the more power roof system are expensive by weight. 252 kg more for the convertible version?? And the sentence is immediate on the road. The four-cylinder diesel with 180 hp is struggling on small mountain roads and recovery on the highway. 10''3 from 0 to 100 km / h you will almost equal game with SMART Fortwo when the light turns green! Without being dramatic braking suffers too when we upped the pace on roads sinuous. Add to that a direction, pedals and suspensions (really) very flexible with the associated body movements?? and you will understand that the Evoque Convertible is not made for sporty drivers. The worst being the automatic transmission to 9 reports seems very slow and greedy in power against the effectiveness of dual clutch boxes increasingly common among other manufacturers.
And do not expect to escape, the Evoque Convertible is only available with this transmission regardless of the engine. Few sports, it is instead the ideal car to walk and ride quietly on the roads of France, because, suddenly, it is extremely comfortable. An impression reinforced by a bloated equipment?? Provided you pay the price! For as any premium car that respects itself, it requires digging happily in a list of options worthy of the Pleiades with exorbitant prices but we can happily together in packs (like the luxury pack: €5,500). Additional costs that hurt when one discovers the basic rates of self that start with the TD4 150 hp at € 51,600, and climb up to €61,800 for the petrol version Si4 ?? 240 hp. This is the price to pay for a car with a formidable sex appeal and offering entirely new versatility. Photos by http://www.turbo.fr