The all-new Range Rover has been revealed, combining elements of both the ‘full size’ Rangie Sport and the smaller, sleeker Evoque, and as fortune would have it, it can slot in neatly within the two in the Land Rover hierarchy.
Called the Velar, which means ‘veil’, the newest addition to the SUV purveyor’s family was revealed at the special event in London and will be rolling out to customers everywhere towards the middle of 2017 with prices for Australia starting from $70,300 to $135,600.
That pretty body sits on what is essentially a shared platform with the F-Pace from sister company Jaguar and is therefore described by its chief designer as the most ‘car-like’ vehicle to come out of Land Rover, and thus will be competing for the same customers as the Porsche Macan and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.
It shares the same 2874mm wheelbase and basic aluminium intensive architecture as the sporty Jaguar SUV, with a capacity of 5 passengers being able to be seated comfortably within. But where the F-Pace is predominantly offered with rear-wheel drive, the even the base Velar comes standard with all-wheel drive.
As such, the Velar’s posh and aerodynamic exterior belies a full suite of off-roading capabilities, including Land Rover’s acclaimed Terrain Response 2 system. Exactly how, the Velar can blend excellent on-road manners and agility while along with true off-road prowess is still left to be fully proven, but the expertise within the JLR umbrella for both disciplines is considerable.
At launch, there will be two trim levels: the more luxury-focused HSE and the sportier R Dynamic. Though there will also be a special First Edition series that will offer more luxury and an added air of exclusivity for a hefty price premium.
The story of the Velar is also one that factors in the interior quite a bit as it’s a large,if evolutionary, step forward for the brand in terms of layout and design language. A headlining new feature is the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system that uses a pair of 10-inch panels to separately control media/navigation and interior functions.
It looks very futuristic and does a wonderful job of reducing the visual clutter that beleaguers many dashboard fascias even today. Peter Virk, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Connected Car & Future Technology said: “The connected infotainment system learns from you and anticipates your needs, serving you what you want, when you want it – but never intrudes letting you enjoy the drive, while it takes the stress out of daily life, like any good butler or digital personal assistant should.”
In terms of interior materials, they are expected to be not divert from the top notch spread of previous Range Rovers but new for the Velar is a ‘Premium Textile’ material for the seats in response to growing customer demand for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious alternative to leather, developed with leading manufacturer Kvadrat and complemented by Suedecloth inserts.
There will be 6 engines initially available for the RR Velar, and each mated to the same 8-speed automatic transmission, kicking off with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot diesel from JLR’s new Ingenium range. This base engine kicks out 133kW or 177kW, depending on tune. A V6 turbodiesel with more torque but the same 177kW is also added to the selection.
For those who prefer petrol, a turbocharged 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol four-cylinder that produces 184kW will be available at launch, though a more powerful 220kW version of that unit will be rolled out into the Velar range by the end of the year.
At the top of the ladder is the 3.0-litre supercharged V6 that we’ve seen in other higher performance JLR products including the range-topping F-Pace S variant. Here, it produces a sizeable 280kW and enables a 5.3-second century sprint time.