Four-wheel drive SUVs have come a long way in the past 50-years! They are no longer dedicated to off-roading — SUVs are also released as luxury vehicles that exude class and sophistication.
Many people buy compact SUVs for their excellent handling ability and large interior space. They are often used as family cars because they have plenty of room for the kids, the dog, and the shopping.
Range Rover, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have released some incredible luxury 4×4 SUVs over the years. These vehicles have all of the refinements you would expect from a high-end executive car while maintaining many of the rugged capabilities of a 4×4 SUV.
It is fair to say that modern SUVs have moved away from their off-road roots over the years! So far away, in fact, that you can now purchase a compact SUV cabriolet — the Range Rover Evoque.
This vehicle combines the power and handling of a 4×4 with the fun, style and glamour of a cabriolet! Here is some information on this great car and a few other famous 4×4 cabriolets that have come before it.
Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet — Luxury, Utility and Fun!
Rarely do you see a vehicle that delivers such an interesting combination of performance, utility and style. The Range Rover Evoque is the world’s first premium compact SUV convertible — a highly unusual combination.
The Evoque loses some of the practicality that makes SUVs so popular with families, with some boot space being taken up by the electric folding roof. However, who needs practicality when you can look this good in a luxury convertible SUV?
The Range Rover Evoque was unveiled as a concept car at the 2012 Geneva Motor show. Fans of Range Rover were surprised and impressed to see the company develop a 4×4 with an electric folding roof. The buzz was so great that Range Rover took it into production last year.
The Evoque is available with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol or Range Rover’s new Ingenium 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel (the TD4-180 engine). The vehicle needs extra pulling power because it has 200 kg of additional bracing for the unibody structure.
The cabriolet required this additional bracing to maintain body rigidity. It also required additional steel along door sills. This extra bracing allows the cabriolet to perform as well off-road as its hardtop counterpart.
…and what a thrill off-road driving is in this vehicle. There is something incredibly fun about traversing rocky terrain or trails with the roof down. It makes the whole off-road experience much more immersive.
The soft top folding roof on the Evoque is the longest and widest fabric roof on any production car available today. It can be raised in 21 seconds and lowered in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 48 km/h.
When the electric folding roof is in place, the cabin is whisper quiet with only a small amount of wind noise. When driving with the folding roof down and the windows up, the cabin is well insulated from buffeting.
There is an optional wind deflector available which allows you to drive at very fast speeds with the top down — perfect for drivers who want to keep the folding roof down as much as possible. The downside of the wind deflector is that it takes up the two back seats.
Other Famous 4×4 Cabriolets
While the Range Rover Evoque may be the first premium compact SUV convertible, it is not the first 4×4 cabriolet. Here are some of the other famous convertible 4x4s from over the years.
A classic 4×4 that became that was used by the US military during the Second World War. It is a very rugged vehicle that can take all of the abuse you can throw at it!
Available as a 4-door or 2-door it has a variety of configurations include soft top folding roof and removable hard-top shell.
Nissan released a limited edition convertible Murano in 2010. This SUV featured a 3.5 Litre V6 (265 HP) with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). It was an interesting looking convertible SUV that resembled a large Volkswagen Beetle! Unfortunately, Nissan only made this car for 4-years.
James Bond’s Range Rover Classic Convertible
James Bond has received many gadgets from Q Branch over the years. One of the most impressive was the Range Rover Classic convertible that James drives in the movie Octopussy. This vehicle was so cool that it may have been the inspiration behind the Range Rover Evoque!
Cayman Auto Services — Leading Repairers of Retracting Roofs in the UK
The staff at Cayman Autos love to talk about everything relating to cabriolets and folding roofs! We specialise in convertible roof repairs and have worked with almost every type of cabriolet manufactured. Our talented staff can maintain your electric folding roof or repair any mechanical issues that you may be having.
If you like to learn more about our services or have a chat about your convertible roof and any problems you are experiencing, contact us today on 01737 761 599.!