Land Rover’s quest to cover every single niche in the SUV market continues with the new Range Rover Velar sports crossover, unveiled today ahead of a Geneva Motor Show world premiere in a week’s time.
The Velar was essentially made to fill the gap between the most affordable Range Rover, the Evoque, which starts from around $41,000, and the Sport that can be had from $65,000 and upwards. Range Rover’s new mid-size model starts from $49,900 in the US and £44,830 in the UK rising to $89,300 and £85,450 respectively for the top of the line ‘First Edition’. US prices exclude a $995 destination and handling fee.
At 4,803mm (189 in.) long, 1,930mm (76 in.) wide and 1,665mm (65.5 in.) tall, riding on the same 2,874mm (113.1 in.) wheelbase (Evoque: 2,660mm; Range Rover Sport: 2,923mm) and aluminum architecture with the Jaguar F-Pace, the Velar is smaller than the BMW X6 (4,909mm / 193.3 in. long with a 2,933mm / 115.5 in. wheelbase) but bigger than the X4 (4,671mm / 183.9 in. long with a 2,810mnm / 110.6 in. wheelbase). The Velar comes with a 632-litre luggage compartment with the rear seats in place and 1,731 liters when folded, along with “exceptional space for all occupants”, according to the automaker.
Our guess is that, given its dimensions and prices, beyond the Porsche Macan, Land Rover will potentially try to steal buyers from both the upper end of the BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe lineups, as well as the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupes.
On the outside, the latest member of the Range Rover clan has a familiar exterior styling with influences from both the Evoque (especially up front) and the Sport (the rest of the body), albeit with more rounded and softer lines, as well as a more rakish roof than either one.
You can see how the Velar’s profile compares to the other Land and Range Rover models after the gallery.
Inside, while sporting similar lines to the other Range Rover models, the Velar progresses the brand’s design further introducing two ultra-wide 10-inch touch screens, one for the infotainment system in the upper console and another placed right under. The lower console display retains three physical knobs for the air-conditioning controls, which the company says, are distinguished by their tactile, rubberised outer surface. Land Rover calls the new infotainment setup the “Touch Pro Duo”. It comes with an Intel quad core processor, high-speed 60GB solid-state drive and ultra-fast Ethernet network.
Other technological highlights include the Matrix-Laser LED Headlights that extend the range of the beam to 550 meters (over 1,800 feet), gesture-controlled power tailgate and an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
In North America, Land Rover will give buyers a choice of two gasoline engines, a 247hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four and a 380hp 3.0-liter supercharged V6, and a 180hp 2.0-liter diesel, each driving through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Europeans will get a wider range of engines, including the 180PS and 240PS 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and 300PS 3.0-liter V6 diesels, and a pair of petrol units, the 250PS 2.0L and the 380PS 3.0L V6.
A muscled up SVR performance variant, possibly with a V8 engine, could join the lineup later on.
Unlike its F-Pace cousin, the Velar will be exclusively all-wheel drive featuring Land Rover’s familiar suite of off-road tech, including the Terrain Response system and Hill Descent Control (HDC).
Sales of the Velar will start this summer.
SPECIFICATIONS EU MODEL