Range Rover has just unveiled their latest vehicle, and fourth in their lineup, taking the curtain off of the all-new Velar at London’s Design Museum. Unsurprisingly, it looks like a Range Rover, but slightly smaller.
The Velar name refers back to the original Range Rover prototypes from the 1960’s. It means to veil, or to cover, so that’s the badge they used to “cover” the prototypes. Not as fancy as today’s camouflage, but still effective.
The Velar has a high door sill and a sloping roofline. The black “floating” roof and traditional clamshell hood are intended to “provide clear references to its lineage” as a Range Rover. The wheelbase of 2,875 puts it between the Evoque and 2017 Range Rover Sport, but it’s closer to the Sport than the smaller Evoque. The deployable flush-mount door handles give a streamlined look and reduce drag at speed. It’s based on the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace, sharing that SUV’s aluminium platform.
The European version has laser headlights that can light the road for over half a kilometre. Differing regulations mean that Canadian models will get full LED head, tail, and fog lights, with the headlights being extremely slim for a sharp look.
Inside are sports seats offering up to 20-way adjustment up front. It’s a two-row SUV with seating for five and a 40:20:40 split middle row. The center of the dashboard gets a pair of 10.0-inch touchscreens. The screens control the Touch Pro Duo infotainment system and replace regular HVAC knobs and buttons with touchscreen control. The Terrain Response all-wheel drive system controls are moved to the screens as well.
The Touch Pro Duo system has 4G connectivity and a 60 GB hard drive to store media and information. It has a commute mode that learns your route and using real-time traffic data it can suggest alternate routes if there’s a jam. The system will tell you if you have enough fuel to make your trip, and you can set it to automatically notify contacts via text or email when you will arrive and if you have been delayed. It has a Meridian audio system available, offering up to 1,600 watts through 23 speakers.
In addition to the usual perforated leathers, a new Suedecloth premium textile seat material is offered. It’s made by high-end textile company Kvadrat from recycled plastic bottles, but is said to have a suede-like soft feel and has the benefit of being a sustainable material. Fold the rear seats, and despite the pinched look of the upper body, there is 1,731 L of cargo space guarded by a gesture controlled tailgate. That’s just 30 less than the Range Rover Sport.
The driver gets a 5.0-inch screen between analog gauges as standard, but a 12.3-inch interactive Driver Display is optional. The driver can configure this to show various gauges as well as navigation information.
Available driver aids will include automatic emergency braking, lane departure and lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and reverse cross traffic detection. The adaptive cruise control can handle stop-and-go traffic, and the surround view cameras help you park. If you don’t want to park, the Velar can park itself.
This is a Range Rover, so it has a great deal of off-road capability. In addition to the terrain response modes of the all-wheel drive system, the Velar can ford up to 650mm of water when equipped with the air suspension. That suspension will increase height by 46 mm when off-road, but will drop 10 mm at highway speeds to help fuel economy. It’s standard on V6, and optional on four-cylinder trims.
Canadians will get two engines in the Velar. The first is a 2.0L turbo-diesel four that will make 180 hp and 317 lb-ft. The gas engine will be a 380 hp supercharged 3.0L V6. The transmission behind those engines will be an eight-speed automatic.
Act fast, and you could get one of the Velar First Editions. Just 50 will come to Canada, for one model year only. They take the V6 HSE trim and add new features including extended leather, copper weave carbon trim, special two-tone Windsor leather seating, the 1,600W Meridian Signature audio system, and special 22-inch wheels. They can be had in a unique hand-sprayed Flux silver, or two other unique colours.
The Range Rover Velar will be available at dealers beginning this summer.
2018 Range Rover Velar pricing:
Range Rover Velar S 2.0 Td4 180HP Diesel $62,000
Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE 2.0 Td4 180HP Diesel $67,400
Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE 2.0 Td4 180HP Diesel $74,700
Range Rover Velar S 3.0 SC V6 380HP $69,900
Range Rover Velar SE 3.0 SC V6 380HP $73,000
Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic SE 3.0 SC V6 380HP $75,300
Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic HSE 3.0 SC V6 380HP $82,600
Range Rover Velar First Edition 3.0 SC V6 380HP $95,000
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