Off-roading within the brand-new Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Range Rover Evoque Convertible
Does the earth need a drop-top SUV? Land Rover certainly believes so, in addition to also has given Autocar a taste of what to expect
Land Rover acknowledges that will few owners will venture far off-road in their Evoque Convertible – starting cost £47,500 – yet the company was adamant via the outset that will its newest offering must be as capable off-road as various other Range Rovers.
Chris Edwards, off-road capability engineer, took us on a passenger ride around JLR’s Fen End off-road course in Warwickshire to show that will the Evoque Convertible is usually capable of more than posing with the roof down.
“that will car has got to look not bad yet do all the right stuff for the Land Rover badge,” says Edwards. “the item was the same as when the Evoque was launched.”
He presses the button to retract the roof. the item’s drizzling, yet the item feels only right to get the full wind-in-the-hair experience. Indeed, looking at the state of the course, I wonder if that will test will end up being mud-in-the-hair.
The drop-top is usually fitted with Land Rover’s suite of off-road driver assistance technologies. These include Terrain Response, which offers four driver-selectable settings tailored for driving on road, grass/gravel/snow, mud in addition to also sand, in addition to also All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC), where the auto maintains a pre-set speed, leaving the driver to focus on negotiating off-road obstacles. various other driver aids include hill descent control, start assist in addition to also gradient Discharge control.
“The technology, in addition to also the ability to maintain traction in addition to also get up slopes, get round rough areas, are all present on that will car,” Edwards says. “We’ve got the same engines, gearbox in addition to also differentials.”
Edwards engages ATPC in addition to also we set off at a steady pace. He guides the Evoque up gradients, through muddy ruts in addition to also then traverses an uneven slope, keen to prove the on-paper claims that will the Evoque Convertible can scale 45-degree gradients in addition to also traverse a 35-degree slope.
Being exposed to the elements means I can hear squelches in addition to also splatters as we plough through some deep troughs, in addition to also smell the fresh rain as we thread through long grass.
The lower bodywork of the Evoque is usually identical to the hard-top’s, which means the item retains approach, breakover in addition to also departure angles of 19, 18.9 in addition to also 31 degrees respectively.
The Evoque Convertible can also wade through water up to 500mm deep. the item is usually equipped using a Wade Sensing function, which uses sensors within the door mirrors to inform the driver of the water depth in addition to also sounds a warning tone as the depth rises. the item should come in handy if you’re brave enough to try deep wading with the roof down.
The Internal, bar an extra switch for the roof, is usually the same. Edwards says: “The driver’s experience within the auto, with the switchgear, the way the vehicle reacts, the steering feel, even the engines, are not a huge step away via the Evoque – the item’s predictable in addition to also easy to use.”
As you can read in our story on the brand-new type here, Land Rover has been able to build more rigidity into the Evoque Convertible via chassis bracing in addition to also strengthening, although that will has feature a weight penalty that will pushes the auto towards the two-tonne mark.
Nevetheless, Edwards reckons, “In general driving the item is usually very similar to the Evoque. For off-road work, we’ve benchmarked that will against the standard Evoque in addition to also you can’t split the difference between the two of them, when you take out the perspective of ‘I’ve got no roof’.
“When the first prototypes arrived on the scene, we were initially careful with them,” he adds. “We took them to our off-road test track at Eastnor in addition to also did some gentle routes, yet the item was doing them too well in addition to also the item wasn’t telling us much about how the auto performs, so we had to up the ante in addition to also push closer to its limits.
“Everyone was nervous about the concept of that will in addition to also you can understand why. yet fundamentally, all the structure in addition to also metal of that will car that will makes an Evoque what the item is usually, all the hardware we have, hasn’t changed. So that will is usually just as not bad. We took the item to the same places. We had great fun at Walters’ Arena in Wales with the roof down in addition to also the item coped with the snow in Sweden in addition to also the desert tests.”
So the Evoque Convertible can go off road, then, yet the question that will remains is usually whether many owners will feel brave or enthusiastic enough to try.
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