Range Rover Velar: The SUV You Didn’t Know You Needed (With Video)
by Martin Green
When it comes to SUVs, every single niche has been filled three times over now: we have coupe-styled SUVs, supercar SUVs, convertible SUVs, SUVs that can actually get dirty, and everything in between (see Maserati Levante: A New Italian SUV Roars In The Urban Jungle).
These SUV categories have not only been covered by different brands, but also many times over by by the same brand offering multiple types of SUVs.
Among all these SUVs, Land Rover has discovered what it calls a “white-space” opportunity between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport: enter the Range Rover Velar.
Without going into instant comparison mode with its siblings, there is no denying that the Velar is a very handsome car, perhaps even the best-looking Range Rover of the current lineup.
The lines of the car are undeniably futuristic, yet at the same time you can easily recognize the silhouette of the very first Range Rover. In fact, the name “Velar” was initially used for a pre-production series of the first generation of Range Rover.
The Velar is, however, the first of the next generation of Range Rovers. This starts with its seductive styling, featuring very stylish streamlined LED headlights and door handles that motor out, similar to Tesla’s.
The angular lines are still there, but pleasantly softened. This both looks good and helps to bring the drag coefficient back to 0.32, which means that the Velar is the most aerodynamic Land Rover in history.
The equally beautiful inside is also an insight into the future of Range Rover, where leather, wood, and metal surfaces create a clean interior that is still full of character. The interior also has two sleek touchscreens, which Land Rover calls the”Touch Pro Duo.” They control all the settings of the car, from the radio and climate control down to the off-road features.
Range Rover Velar: from beauty to beast
The Velar can also exude its attractiveness where few are likely to see it as its off-road capabilities are truly Range Rover-worthy. It might look out of its element, but it is not, and that in itself is very British.
That is also a reminder of the days that Brits climbed mountains, trekked through dense tropical forests, and sailed to the far ends of the world – all while impeccably dressed by their Savile Row tailors in the finest tweed suits.
The Velar will leave most “pretty” SUVs behind in the mud as even in its standard version it is packed with features such as Hill Launch Assist, Terrain Response, Roll Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, Low Traction Launch, and much more. Four-wheel drive is of course also standard.
Under the hood, or perhaps more appropriately bonnet, we find the 134-kilowatt Ingenium 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel or 280-kilowatt supercharged 3.0-liter gas V6, the same engines available on the Jaguar F-Pace.
That is not the only thing that the Velar shares with the Jag SUV; its body structure is also based on the aluminum-intensive D7a architecture of the F-Pace. However, where the Jaguar is still very asphalt-minded, the Velar gets a proper Land Rover makeover with the integration of an active locking rear differential, height-adjustable air suspension, and of course all the other features focused on off-road driving.
Although I have yet to drive the Velar, it seems that it has to potential to excel both on regular streets and off-road terrain.
The supercharged V6 marks a 0-100 kilometer per hour time of only 5.3 seconds, with a top speed that is limited to 250 kilometers per hour. The Velar also offers a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder providing 184 kilowatt that will go from 0-100 kilometers per hour in a still very reasonable 6.4 seconds.
Currently, there is no word whether a high-performance SVR version will follow, but it would be a shame if Land Rover weren’t to introduce this as it would bring the Velar more into F-Pace territory. There seems to be plenty of room in the market for both to exist.
Despite a complete lineup of very desirable cars, Land Rover was right: there is room for another Range Rover. One that represents the future of the brand and brings a superb mix of style, performance, and off-road capabilities to the pavement.
For more information, please visit www.landroverusa.com/vehicles/range-rover-velar.
Quick Facts Range Rover Velar
Engine: supercharged 2,995 cc V6
Power: 283 kw @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 450 N m of torque @ 3,500 rpm, four-wheel drive
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Acceleration: 0-100 kph in 5.3 seconds
Top speed: 250 kph
Base price: $64,200