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Automobiles

It's endless summer in the Range Rover Evoque Convertible

Land Rover debuted their Range Rover Evoque Convertible at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. While other four-wheel-drive convertibles tend to look more rugged, the Evoque aims to bring a shot of luxury to the market.

LOS ANGELES -- With Nissan's disastrous Murano CrossCabriolet barely gone from our memories, Land Rover rolled out the 2017 Range Rover Evoque convertible at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Range Rover had to make a few changes to accommodate the drop-top. The doors are now frameless and a new rear spoiler integrates an LED brake light. A permanent roll bar has been nixed in favor of two pop-up aluminum bars that can deploy within 90 milliseconds of detecting a rollover.

A mere 18 seconds separate you from sunshine, and the power soft-top can be operated at speeds of up to 29 mph. It takes 21 seconds to bring the top back up. The whole kit and kaboodle adds 150 pounds to the already hefty Evoque, and diminishes trunk space to 8.9 cubic feet.

Despite the lux exterior of the Evoque Convertible, it remains a fairly capable four-wheel-drive vehicle. Approach, departure, and breakover angles are decent, and it's rated to wade through water 19.7 inches deep. The Terrain Response system lets you choose between Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Ruts and Sand. It's designed to climb hills as steep as 45 degrees, but without aggressive off-road tires, I might scale that back a bit.

The Evoque Convertible sees the first use of Land Rover's InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, with a 10.2-inch screen and no physical buttons. Instead, common functions like audio, climate, phone and navigation, show up in a virtual dock at the bottom of the screen.

The Connected Navigation system allows for public transportation options while planning routes, and also features a commute mode. This feature learns your daily commute and can then suggest options to avoid traffic based on historical and real-time traffic information.

Finally, InControl Apps has expanded to feature sixteen compatible apps including Stitcher, Audiobooks and Rivet Radio.

Under the hood we get one option here in the United States, a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine putting out 240 horsepower and 251 pound/feet of torque. 60 mph comes in 7.8 seconds, and Range Rover promises a top speed of 112 mph. A 2.0-liter diesel is available outside the US. Regardless, four-wheel-drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission are both standard.

Expect to see the 2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible on sale in early 2016 in more than 170 markets. It's priced from $50,475, £47,500 and AU$84,440.

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