Range Rover Velar officially revealed
The new Porsche Macan rival sits between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport and is the brand's most road-biased model yet
by Mark Tisshaw - 1 March 2017
Revealed at a special event in London ahead of its public debut at the Geneva motor show, the Velar is underpinned by the same technology as the similarly sized Jaguar F-Pace...
...The Velar will be priced from £44,830
and go on sale this summer...
...The Velar shares its 2874mm wheelbase and aluminium architecture with the F-Pace, alongside which it will be built at the Solihull plant of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Unlike the F-Pace, the Velar is all-wheel drive only and comes with Land Rover’s full suite of off-road technology, including Terrain Response 2. Wade depth is 650mm. The Velar is also a touch longer than the F-Pace, at 4.8m.
While the model is fully capable for off-roading, it has been developed as the most road-biased model yet in the Range Rover line-up. "As a mid-sized SUV, it has less inertia [than larger models in the line-up]," said David Doody, vehicle programme director. "It's a lot more agile. The intention is that it's a lot more sporty than a full Range Rover."
Buyers will be able to choose from six engines, each driving through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. There’s a base 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium diesel unit in 178bhp and 237bhp guises. The entry-level petrol engine is a new 2.0-litre Ingenium unit with 247bhp. A more potent 296bhp version of this engine will follow by the end of this year.
The V6 range-toppers are 296bhp diesel and 375bhp petrol engines. The petrol V6 is supercharged — the only non-turbo engine in the range — and will power the Velar from zero to 60mph in 5.3sec.
At the other end of the scale, the entry-level diesel is the most efficient, with CO2 emissions of 142g/km.
In time, JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) arm is expected to turn out its own versions of the Velar. McGovern said SVO would typically create one special model per range, as seen with the potent SVR version of the Range Rover Sport and the more luxurious SVAutobiography version of the Range Rover.
However, McGovern said the Velar’s broad remit and character potentially allowed for both more luxurious and sporting versions of the Velar.
McGovern called the Velar’s look a “masterclass in design reduction”. He said: “It’s reduction by design and engineering. If something is on the car, you take it off and it makes no difference, it shouldn’t be there anyway.”
McGovern said the Velar is the most aerodynamic Land Rover yet and its design has changed little in the three years since it was first presented internally. "The real test [of good car design] is the transition from a concept car to production, and how much the design is diluted. With the Velar, it has hardly changed at all, even less so than was the case with the Evoque."
Despite the Velar’s more stripped-back look, McGovern doesn’t consider it to have a new design language but instead regards it as an evolution. “The newest thing will always look the most modern,” he said. “It’s just progression.”
Among the Velar’s various trims, two distinct flavours stand out: a sportier-looking R Dynamic model and a plusher, more luxurious HSE. For the first year of production, Land Rover will offer an £85,450 First Edition that’s even more luxurious than the HSE. The cost of that model, almost double the price of the entry-level version, shows how broad the Velar’s market coverage is. The typical purchase price is expected to be about £61,000...
...Land Rover also claims the Velar is the most practical car in its class, with a set of key rivals across the range’s price band identified as BMW’s X4 and X6, the Macan and Mercedes-Benz’s GLE. The boot capacity is a claimed 673 litres and the rear seats split 40/20/40. Stride said there is plenty of leg- and head-room in the back "even with the sliding roofline". There are also powered reclining rear seats.
A wide range of trims and colour schemes is offered on the Velar, including a new Premium Textile one, which removes all leather from the cabin in response to a growing number of customers wanting a premium alternative to leather for greater sustainability.
Other tech highlights include laser spotlights, touchpads on the steering wheel to control certain key interior and driving functions, an active rear locking e-differential and gesture control to open the tailgate.
A Torque Vectoring by Braking system is standard on the Velar, which has double-wishbone front and integral-link rear suspension. Air springs are standard on V6 cars and optional on the more powerful four-cylinder models.
Key to the Velar’s dynamic credentials is a system called Configurable Dynamics, which allows for stiffer suspension, improved throttle response and reduced assistance for the power steering. It’s standard on the First Edition and optional across the rest of the range.
- - - - - - -
^ 188.98" ovl (not quite 3" longer than F-Pace), 113.1" wlb (aka = F-Pace)
fwiw Macan = 184.3" - 110.5"
- - - - - - -