Whitley, England – Land Rover has fully revealed its Range Rover Velar, which is a completely new member of the posh SUV family, slotting between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport.

Sharing its 2874mm wheelbase and much of its technology with the Jaguar F-Pace, this new Rangie will go head-to-head with the Porsche Macan in the premium mid-sized SUV market.

Yet whereas its Jaguar cousin relies on a more dramatic and muscular design to turn heads, the Velar instead opts for a comparatively clean and uncluttered look that Land Rover describes as “reductionist”. Not surprisingly, this is the most aerodynamic Land Rover ever created. Its developers even went as far as creating deployable door handles that fit flush with the body when not in use.

Indeed Jaguar Land Rover likes to tantalise its customers with such antics – even the original Jaguar XF had concealed air vents inside and although the Velar’s designers left the vents naked, its middle dashboard surfaces were styled to remain “secret until lit”. 

Integrated seamlessly behind these surfaces are a pair of 25.4cm high-definition touch-screens that form part of the company’s brand new ‘Touch Pro Duo’ infotainment system.

The newcomer seats five in either leather or what the company refers to as the segment’s first “sustainable, premium textile seat material” and behind the occupants is a rather practical 632 litre boot.

With an aluminium-intensive body, adaptive damping on all models and air suspension standard on V6 versions, road manners should be top-notch, but the Velar should also hold its own off the beaten track if you tick the right options. Air suspended models will offer up to 251mm of ground clearance, while Land Rover’s second-generation Terrain Response system and All Terrain Progress Control, both optional, will take over when the going gets tough.

The Velar will be offered with up to six engine choices, kicking off with a trio of Ingenium four-cylinder turbo units offering 184kW in petrol form and 132kW or 177kW states of tune for diesel customers. Next up is a 220kW/700Nm V6 diesel for the best balance between performance and economy, but the top performer in the range is powered by a 280kW version of JLR’s supercharged 3-litre V6, allegedly capable of running from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds.

South African sales are expected to commence during the fourth quarter of this year, with local specs and pricing to be released closer to the time.

IOL Motoring

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