Land Rover has debuted the Velar, a luxury mid-sized SUV that fills in the gap between the Evoque and the range-topping Range Rover Sport as the most road-biased Range Rover yet, with a name derived from the codename from the Land Rover prototype from 1968, meaning “veil” in Italian.
Land Rover Design Director Gerry McGovern said the Velar is “the most car-like Range Rover” ever built, but it will be as capable as any other Land Rover.
The car shares its platform with the Jaguar F-Pace, with the same 2874-millimeter wheelbase and aluminium architecture, but it is longer than its Jaguar-badged sister, at 4.8 meters. It will also be offered in four-wheel drive only, like all other Land Rovers.
It retains the distinctive features that make it a part of the Range Rover family, such as the blacked out window pillars, U-shaped front grille and trademark wraparound headlights, but with a sleeker look that sets it apart from the other models in its range. Also notable is the quad-taillight element with a line graphic that flows through the brand script. The line from the taillights continues to the sides and to the headlights.
Inside is a familiar Land Rover interior design architecture, but with a high-tech twist that will set as a standard for future Land Rover models. Combining lush leather and brushed metal are two 10-inch touchscreens, one above located just below the air-conditioning vents to navigate, and one which is used as a center console to play media and adjust the interior settings. Also replacing the instrument dials is a 12.3-inch display that can show media as well as driving information, and a heads-up display projected on the window of the car. Adding the sanctuary-like feel are the customisable ambient interior lighting and the electrically-operable panoramic roof.
The high tech stuff continues with remote connectivity, utilizing a smartphone app to remotely lock and unlock the car, alerting owners to an attempted theft, recording trip history and check the status of the car, such as fuel range. An SOS system fitted as standard alerts the nearby authorities automatically once the airbags are deployed. Other safety features include cruise control with speed limiter, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, driver condition monitor, rear parking aid, among others.
Three engine choices
The Velar will be initially available with a choice of three engines: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel with 180-hp, a 2.0-liter four cylinder petrol engine with 247 hp, and the range-topping 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with 380 hp. All models feature all-wheel drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics torque vectoring system that optimizes torque distribution depending on available traction, continuously monitoring speed and road surface. It can also adjust the vehicle dynamics by adapting to the surface, speed and braking activities, though it can also be configured by the driver. An Electronic Air Suspension is fitted as standard, which can adjust the ride height of the vehicle depending on surface conditions or under heavy load.
Sitting as the middle range for the Range Rover line, prices start at $50,000 for the 247-hp variant, pricing between the Evoque and the Sport. Deliveries will begin later this year.