The Chevrolet Blazer sport truck of the early 1970s made a handsome convertible. But that doesn’t mean today’s fussy utility vehicles can pull off the look.
Jaguar Land Rover’s Range Rover division is the latest car maker to try, with a folding-roof version of its Evoque, unveiled in London.
The newest member of the Range Rover family lowered its roof with the University of the Arts London’s Central Saint Martins building in Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, as a backdrop. This was quite a contrast to the mountain, forest and desert settings used to promote the bygone Blazer and its drop-top rivals of the period, the Ford Bronco, International Scout and Jeep CJ series. I guess the SUV really is an urban creature these days.
As crossovers go, the Evoque is a pretty good candidate for the folding-roof treatment. Its creased, angular, concept-car look remains a pleasant surprise when encountered on the road and accentuates just how bland many contemporary cars have become. Indeed, chopping the top takes away some of the Evoque’s shapely appeal and leaves it looking like a cousin of the stubby Volkswagen Eos.
Still, the Evoque is a beauty compared with the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet that rolled out a few yeas ago. I’m not sure what Nissan designers were thinking as they penned the odd ragtop, but it was a thought they should have held indefinitely.
I can’t help thinking the Evoque and other convertible SUVs are looking for a time machine to transport them to the 1970s, where they could be more like the Chevy Blazer. I think I’d rather drive one of those crude, loud machines today while learning to live without black boxes, stability control and a platoon of airbags.
The Evoque Convertible is due in dealer showrooms next spring.