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Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Aside from its stunning good looks and impressive performance, this car is luxurious. A killer sound system adds to the pleasure, if you can stand to interfere with the arias being created by the power plant. And it even comes in a convertible (about $3,000 more), for those who like the wind in their hair at 25 percent of Mach 1. The convertible has a great feature that all manufacturers should adopt: the driver can punch in a code on the infotainment screen, which both locks the glove box and also turns off the sound system. Not since Corvette offered an in-car video monitoring system has a manufacturer better thwarted the efforts of Ferris Bueller’s nemeses.

For a car with a base price starting at about $61,000 for the least expensive coupe, the SVR is a big jump—tipping the scales with a base price of about $126,000. Is it worth it? Get in, fire it up, and then decide. If you’re a petrolholic like some of us, just the sound upon its awakening will be worth the price of admission.

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Now let’s look at its off-road cousin, Land Rover. The company has broadened its output recently so that numerous vehicles it creates are being sold in the U.S.—the Discovery Sport is the least-expensive model, starting at about $38,000. Moving upward in the line, we find the Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover, which also has many variants—the SVAutobiography and the ultimate Holland and Holland, a very customized version of the Range Rover Black, which includes Holland and Holland, the ultimate Range Rover Black with gorgeous leathers and tooled metalwork reminiscent of the finest shooting guns ever made (and starting at about $225,000). But back to today’s topic: the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, a bundle of joy with a base price of $52,000.

Although you may have seen the Evoque before, as it hit the road a few years ago, this year’s convertible model simply adds to the already-youthful vibe with a roof that drops noticeably from front to back. This swagger for the normally sedate (and much more rectangular) Land Rover family gave the Evoque a street strut that endeared it in the hearts of youngsters and the young at heart. With two basic models—the SE and the HSE (the latter has a base price of $57,700)—all convertibles have the same four- cylinder powerplant with 240 horsepower and 250 pounds of torque coupled to a nine-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Range Rover Evoque Convertible

There’s one metric, especially in Los Angeles, by which the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is hard to beat: stares per mile. Whether in Beverly Hills or Newport Beach, the drop top is a real head-turner. One valet literally moved a Rolls-Royce (one of three parked in front of the restaurant) to give the convertible center stage. When we returned to the stand after dinner, he said that he’d never seen so much interest in a car—and he regularly hosts the most exotic of models from anywhere in the world.

And while the Evoque Convertible is a fun, well-priced car, it’s also very technologically advanced. It uses a sophisticated power-and-brake management system called “Torque Vectoring by Braking,” which is especially useful off-road. There are also driver-control programs for low-friction surfaces, venturing up and down hills, and more. The infotainment system with 10-inch touchscreen is great, and the Meridian sound system works terrifically—ten speakers plus a subwoofer.

With the four-banger engine, you will not win many Stop Light Grand Prix, but its performance is sprightly. Overall, the Evoque Convertible is a lot of fun to drive. You probably won’t want to return this baby after taking it for a test drive. Because, even if your typical daily diet includes at least 500HP, the Evoque Convertible is a surprising delight.

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