Land Rover has revealed a full suite of details for its newest product line, the Range Rover Velar, slotting into the model line between the smaller Range Rover Evoque and the larger Range Rover Sport.
The Velar forges new ground for the British off-road brand with the admission that the new model is Range Rover’s most urban-focussed crossover yet with a focus on refined driving manners, introducing new technologies and creating a sumptuous and highly connected five-seater cabin.
That’s not to say the Velar completely sidesteps Land Rover’s 4x4 heritage however, with an advanced all-wheel drive system supported by the latest in electronic driver aids and adaptable air suspension on high-end models.
The Velar is based on the same lightweight architecture that underpins the latest models from its sister company Jaguar, including the F-Pace, which the Velar is closely related to.
Due to arrive in Australian showrooms before the end of 2017, Range Rover says the Velar is a rival for sporty SUVs such as the Porsche Macan, BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe but, like the F-Pace, also straddles a unique space between the class above in terms of overall size, price and performance.
It will be offered with a broad spectrum of model variants that will be defined by a choice of six engines across two distinct ranges - the luxury-focused Velar and sportier Velar R-Dynamic - and four levels of standard specifications.
While Land Rover Australia has yet to release final local details, it has confirmed the Velar will start at $70,300 (plus on-road costs) and top out at $135,400 (plus on-roads) with a special First Edition model offered in limited numbers for $167,600 (plus on-roads).
Riding on the same 2874mm wheelbase as the Jaguar F-Pace, the Velar's rakish style is amplified by its short front overhang and longer rear end while it is complemented by iconic Range Rover design cues such as the floating roof and strong shoulder line.
Its smooth body is showcased by slimline headlights (featuring laser high beams in range-topping variants), flush door handles that pop-out of the car and a sloping rear roofline that is partially hidden by a roof-mounted spoiler, all of which combine to make the Velar the most aerodynamic Range Rover ever built.
The regular Velar will feature a more subtle front bumper, additional chrome embellishments and the signature floating roof while the Velar R-Dynamic has a more aggressive look with a sportier bumper, bonnet vents, copper highlights and a two-tone body with black roof. Both can be equipped with alloy wheels up to 22-inches in diameter, depending on specification.
The cabin is equally as stunning in its simplicity, with Range Rover's signature T-bar dash design introducing Land Rover's latest in digital technology. Not only does the instrument panel feature a 12.3-inch digital display that be configured in multiple designs (which is standard in SE specification and above), but there is are two 10-inch colour screens in the centre of the dash that work in unison to control all multimedia, navigation, vehicle settings and ventilation controls.
Dubbed Touch Pro Duo, the top screen has a thin polycarbonate capacitive display that follows the curvature of the dash for a flush fit when the vehicle is switched off, but flips forward when the ignition is activated - another piece of "theatre" in the startup process, something Jaguar and Land Rover are renowned for.
That screen is used for the majority of multimedia functions while the second screen at the base of the dash houses ventilation and vehicle control settings such as the Terrain Response system that alters the vehicle's parameters to suit different driving conditions, from everyday road use through the plodding across mud and rocks. It even displays the water level of the car in creek crossings and how close it is to its maximum wading depth of 650mm.
There are also four USB outlets and four 12V power sockets throughout the cabin, and it can be equipped with a 4G wireless hotspot and a 60GB hard drive for music storage.
The five-seater cabin features a "Sports-Command" driving position with a new split-rim steering wheel that features touch-sensitive controls, a TFT colour heads-up display, multicolor LED ambient lighting, optional four zone climate control, generous rear leg and headroom and a cavernous 673L boot with a 40:20:40 split-fold rear bench that can recline up to 18 degrees.
Land Rover will also introduce a new high-grade wool with artificial suede interior trim option (pictured above) that is made from sustainable materials and developed by Europe's leading textile manufacturer, Kvadrat. It will be offered as a premium alternative to top-shelf leather at no extra cost.
Mechanically, the Velar will come with a choice of four-cylinder or V6 engines and have all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic as standard.
The entry-level models will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder available in two states of tune. The most efficient version is dubbed D180 and develops 132kW and 430Nm with a claimed average fuel consumption of 5.4L/100km. A more powerful D240 has a twin-turbo set-up that increases outputs to 177kW and 500Nm while fuel consumption jumps marginally to 5.8L/100km.
Similarly, a petrol-powered 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder will be offered in two levels, the P250 producing 184kW and 365Nm with a claimed average consumption of 7.6L/100km and the P300, to be available shortly after the car is launched, developing 221kW and 400Nm.
For those wanting more power, the higher-grade models in the Velar line-up will have a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel (dubbed D300) producing 221kW and 700Nm, which is enough to slingshot it from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds while using a claimed 6.4L/100km, or there's a 3.0-litre supercharged petrol V6 that is even more potent, generating 280kW and 450Nm, that lowers the sprint to triple figures to 5.7 seconds.
The Velar will also be available with the latest in electronic driver aids for increased safety, including automated emergency braking, lane keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, automated parking assistance and a 360-degree camera. It can also feature a semi-automated reverse trailer function, called Advanced Tow Assist, that helps manoeuvre through difficult situations when fitted with a trailer. Even though the Velar is Range Rover's most road-biased vehicle, it still claims to have a maximum towing capacity of 2500kg.
All four cylinder models will be fitted as standard with a conventional coil-spring suspension with electronic dampers that ensures a static 213mm of ground clearance while V6 variants will exclusively be equipped with adaptive air suspension that can increase the ride height by 46mm in off-road mode or lower it by 10mm above 105km/h for better aerodynamics, lower fuel consumption and increased stability. It even automatically drops by 40mm when the car is switched off to ease entry and exit into the cabin and, thanks to a Ground Detection function, can automatically raise the car over obstacles the driver may not have seen.
Land Rover Australia will reveal full local details of the Velar ahead of its official arrival later this year.
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