Land Rover officially lifts the veil on the Velar
The fourth member of the Range Rover luxury SUV family, the Velar, is the closest the company has ever come to building a crossover. But don't for a moment think that it's just a generously proportioned car.
Even Land Rover is billing the all-new Velar (Latin for veil or covering) as the company's best "on-road" vehicle in history. But what the company means by this is that the car will feel like a car when on the motorway or driving around town -- sporty, responsive and with less inertia in the twists and turns. In other words, it should be just like owning a BMW or Porsche-badged SUV.
The vehicle's program director David Doody said that the goal was to make it "a lot more sporty" than a traditional Range Rover.
But, unlike its German rivals, when the road turns to rocks, the Velar will keep on going because first and foremost, it's still a Land Rover -- even if it is one developed to reflect the changing customer dynamic.
Inside the Range Rover Velar ©Jaguar Land Rover
At launch it will come with all of the cutting-edge Terrain Response technology found on the full-size Range Rover. All-wheel drive is standard, and on the more powerful models so is air suspension and electronically locking differentials.
The new car also ushers in a new design language for the marque and a host of new features that will soon become the standard across all Range Rover models. For example, its exterior door handles retract completely into the body at speeds above 5mph to improve the car's drag co-efficient. There's an all-new twin 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system; it packs every current-generation active driver safety aid from blind spot monitoring to emergency autonomous braking; and, for the first time, consumers can specify something called a Premium Textile seat trim. A sustainable material developed with Kvadrat, it is meant to serve as an equally premium yet entirely sustainable alternative to traditional leather.
The Range Rover Velar - rear view ©Jaguar Land Rover
"Velar brings increased choice to new and existing customers in a growing SUV market," said Jeremy Hicks, Jaguar Land Rover UK's managing director. "It leads the way in terms of design, usable technology, new materials and of course Land Rover's legendary go anywhere, do anything capability."
The Velar will make its first public appearance at the Geneva motor show on Tuesday and will go on sale in mid-2017.
Initial engine lineup will start with three diesel options -- 2-liter unit with 178 or 237bhp and a more potent 3-liter V6 with296bhp; and two gasoline options -- a four-cylinder 2-litre 247bhp unit or a 3-liter, supercharged V6 with 375bhp on tap.