Range Rover Velar to attract ‘new customers’

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Range Rover Velar wade

The Range Rover Velar has been unveiled ahead of its public debut at next week’s Geneva Motor Show.

Revealed at the Design Museum in London, the fourth member of the Range Rover family is described by its makers as ‘filling the white space’ between the brand’s Evoque and Sport models. It has also been dubbed the most road-focused Range Rover yet.

UK-built, on sale in July

The Velar will be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant in Birmingham and go on sale in mid-July 2017. Prices start from £44,830 and the model is expected to rival the Porsche Macan.

JLR expects the Range Rover Velar to bring ‘a new type of customer’ to the brand, saying that it offers a combination of luxury, refinement and all-terrain capability never before seen in the mid-size SUV segment.

The Velar is closely related to the F-Pace of sister brand Jaguar and uses the same aluminium-intensive platform for a combination of light weight and stiffness. Sitting on a 2874mm wheelbase, the car is said to offer ‘exceptional’ interior space along with a 632-litre boot.

Six powertrains will be available – entry-level is the 180hp 2-litre Ingenium diesel, also available in a 240hp version. A new four cylinder Ingenium petrol unit offers 250hp with a 300hp variant set to join the range later in the year. A V6 diesel combines 300hp with 700Nm of torque, while the range-topper is a 3-litre V6 petrol engine with 380hp.

All will be matched to eight-speed auto transmissions, adaptive dampers and intelligent all-wheel-drive – Land Rover’s reputation for all-surface ability ensured there was no thought of following the front-wheel-drive route of many other mid-sized SUVs.

This capability is emphasised by a class-leading ground clearance of 251mm on versions with the air suspension that is standard on six-cylinder models, and a wading depth of 650mm.

The options list will include the Terrain Response 2 and All Terrain Progress Control traction aids, while a locking rear differential will also be available.

Among notable styling touches are the slimmest LED headlamps fitted to a production Land Rover, and flush-fitting door handles. The Velar is also described as the most aero-efficient Land Rover yet.

Inside a new interior design focuses on keeping the number of controls to a minimum. The front is dominated by the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system which uses two 10-inch high-definition touchscreens integrated into the dash.

Also debuting is a new seat material, described as a sustainable alternative to leather. It is finished in grey and has inserts in Ebony or Light Oyster shades.

Three trim levels will be on offer when the Velar goes on sale while for the first year there will be an extra First Edition model. Based on the top HSE trim and powered by the 3-litre engines, it includes full extended leather interior trim, perforated Windsor leather seats, a 1600W Meridian Signature sound system, matrix-laser LED headlights and 22-inch split-spoke wheels with diamond-turned finishes.

Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, Jeremy Hicks, describes the Range Rover Velar as a “stunning addition” to the Range Rover family.

“It enhances a model line-up that originally defined the luxury SUV segment and continues to do so – Velar brings increased choice to new and existing customers in a growing SUV market,” Hicks says.

“It leads the way in terms of design, usable technology, new materials and of course Land Rover’s legendary go anywhere, do anything capability,” he adds.

Andrew Charman

Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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