The line between separate car segments is either so blurred you can't tell what's going on, or there's simply no line any more at all. A couple of decades ago if you wanted a small car, you bought a hatchback. When you hit the big time you bought a rear-wheel drive saloon. And if you wanted to go fast, it had to be something with two doors and two seats. SUVs weren't invented yet, so if you lived in the sticks (or the sands) you had two or three 4x4s to choose from with interior amenities to make you feel at home, just as if you were in your horse stables. And that was it.
Today there are no traditional car segments left. There are car sizes, and price ranges more accurately, so if you have, say, 200 grand to spend, you can pick from hundreds of iterations spanning dozens of models. The line has been truly blurred to complete absence.
We're not complaining, mind you. More choice for us… It's just that, car manufacturers are increasingly running out of imagination, and there are only so many possible spin-offs of what's always basically going to be a box on wheels. Yet, some continue to put a twist on it. Case in point: the BMW X5 M, or the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, maybe a V6 mid-engined hatchback with no rear seats. Weird…
Yet somehow, all this doesn't apply to the latest oddity to rise from the depths of designers' stretched minds. When you run out of ideas, you clutch onto the absurd, and that's what the just-announced Range Rover Evoque Convertible concept should be: completely idiotic. But instead, it's fantastic.
hopping the roof off a crossover may seem risky for any carmaker, but it's a natural next step forward when your crossover looks as perfectly proportioned as Range Rover's Evoque. Its chunky demeanour, super-high waistline, forward-raked stance and oversiz
ed wheels visually minimising the tall ride height, make the convertible concept look like a regular soft-top hatch. Just a very premium one.
Set to be unveiled at next week's Geneva motor show — where wheels' Imran Malik will be in person to get us a closer look — the Evoque Convertible will aim to gauge interest before the official production green-light. We doubt it's too early to bet our last dirham that the green-light will shine brig
Already looking production-ready, the concept features a fabric roof and a roll-over protection system, with
a drop-down tailgate and seating for four passengers.
Land Rover promises retained off-roading capability, since the Evoque's full range of 4x4 gizmos have found a home in the concept: that means Terrain Response and surround cameras, but also 21in wheels for street-cred.
It's no surprise, really, that Land Rover's design director, Gerry McGovern, penned this Evoque spin-off.
Garnering huge success with sales in 170 global markets, the Evoque is just begging for a broader model range and more dollar signs flashing in dealers' eyes. There's nothing idiotic about that.