The crowd at the LA Auto Show must have thought they’d wandered into the wrong room when they first saw the new Evoque Convertible, which debuted during Jaguar Land Rover’s presentation at the event. The soft-top version of the British automakers compact SUV, which has been a surprise hit since its launch in 2011, is the first convertible Range Rover has ever manufactured.
The move highlights the growing trend in recent years across the auto industry for marketing niche SUVs, with crossover coupes, compact and hybrid SUVs all introduced by various auto giants in a bid to corner small portions of the buying market.
For aspiring auto mechanics, innovations like the Evoque Convertible offer an exciting glimpse into the future of the car world, and the vehicles they will be working on once they graduate.
2017 Evoque Convertible: a Guide for Students Taking Auto Mechanic Courses
Fans of the original Evoque design will be pleased to see that the fabric roof on the 2017 convertible version blends well with the car’s trim, while new frameless doors give it a good clean profile with the top down. The roof is automatic and folds into the rear bodywork in just 20 seconds, without reducing available cargo space.
Students enrolled in auto mechanic courses might also find the subtle differences in the mechanical design of the two cars fascinating. While both cars have the same 240hp, turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine, the convertible requires additional reinforcements in the chassis, bringing its curb weight to 4,268lbs—a full 520lbs heavier than the hardtop. This leads to a slightly slower acceleration, with the convertible capable of 0-100km/h in 7.8 seconds, while the original Evoque can manage the same in just 7.1 seconds.
Check out the new 2017 Evoque Convertible here:
Dangerous Terrain? The Inside Scoop On the Convertible SUV Market
Attempting to market a convertible SUV represents a big gamble by Land Rover. Students pursuing an auto mechanic apprenticeship might be familiar with the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, which launched in 2011, but has been poorly received, with pundits dismissing it as poorly designed, unnecessary luxury. The CrossCabriolet will be discontinued for 2016, while the only other notable convertible SUV in the recent past was the Audi Cross Cabriolet Quattro, a concept car which was never manufactured for sale.
Convertible SUVs And Your Future Auto Mechanic Career
With many still skeptical about the car’s viability, Jaguar Land Rover’s ambitions for the Evoque Convertible are modest, with reports suggesting that the company is not expecting huge numbers. Nonetheless, it is hoping to capitalize on what it sees as a gap in the market for what car designer Gerry McGovern called an ‘all-season’ convertible, as comfortable in snowy winter weather as it is hot climates.
Given the extreme differences in summer and winter temperature that most Canadians experience, perhaps that isn’t such an impractical idea after all. And if the Evoque Convertible takes off, expect to see more car manufacturers bringing out their own convertible SUVs models when you begin your auto mechanic career.
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