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2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible is a Go-Anywhere Droptop

Four-wheel drive and a powered convertible top.

After showing off tantalizing concepts and camouflaged prototypes, Land Rover has finally pulled the covers off its go-anywhere droptop. The 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque convertible goes on sale in mid-2016, and is claimed to have the same off-roading prowess as its hardtop sibling.

The production 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque convertible stays true to the look of the concept, with the Evoque’s bodywork simply chopped above the beltline. The convertible retains the blocky, squared-off design elements of the hardtop, with black plastic fender cladding surround 18-to-20-inch wheels, depending on trim level.

The power softtop can be lowered in just 18 seconds and raised in 21 seconds, and because the top stows above the trunk, cargo capacity is identical no matter whether the roof is up or down. Sadly, the Evoque convertible loses much of the regular crossover’s utility, as cargo capacity is limited just 8.9 cubic feet, hidden behind a small door in the rear of the car, compared to the 20.3 cubic feet offered behind the rear seats of the standard Evoque. Special roll bars pop up behind the seats in as little as 90 milliseconds if the car detects it’s about to roll over.

The Range Rover Evoque convertible seats four in an interior not too dissimilar from that of the hardtop version. The dashboard has the same design as in the standard Evoque, with a pair of analog gauges flanking a digital trip computer in front of the driver, a wide, 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system at the center of the car, and Land Rover’s pop-up rotary shifter in the center console. The glovebox automatically locks when the car is locked, to keep valuables safer when the roof is down, and there’s an optional wind deflector that can be fitted to reduce buffeting at highway speeds.

Toughened chassis

To compensate for removing the roof, the 2017 Land Rover Range Rover convertible receives extra chassis bracing that is said to make it stiffer than the hardtop version. The suspension springs and anti-roll bars have also been modified for use in the convertible, which tips the scales at 4,268 lb — up more than 1,000 lb compared to an Evoque two-door. Still, the convertible is said to be nearly as capable off-road as the hardtop, with a 19.7-inch wading depth, 19-degree approach angle, and 31-degree departure angle. The convertible has the same Terrain Response software, include hill-descent control, as other Range Rover models, and is claimed to be able to drive up a 45-degree slope.

As in the standard Evoque, under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine rated for 240 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. With power sent through a nine-speed automatic transmission to Land Rover’s four-wheel-drive system, the convertible can reach 60 mph in 7.8 seconds and continues to a top speed of 112 mph.

Other technologies available on the car include a 360-degree parking camera, automatic pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, 360- or 660-watt Meridian sound systems, and LED lighting.

The 2017 Land Rover Range Rover convertible will be offered in two trim levels. The SE Dynamic starts at $51,470 with features like automatic headlights and windshield wipers, the 10.2-inch touchscreen, parking sensors, and lane-departure warning and pre-collision braking. Moving up to the $58,270 HSE Dynamic adds fog lights, navigation, powered leather heated seats, ambient interior lighting, heated mirrors with puddle lamps, and Xenon headlights with LED running lights.