Land Rover is about to introduce the newest member of the Range Rover family. Here’s a first look at everything we love about the Range Rover Velar, the show-stopping SUV that’s about to drop in Geneva.
1. It’s stunning.
The Land Rover design team aimed to capture the essence of the Range Rover shape and distill it in a different shape, much like they did the Range Rover Sport. Think of this as a grown-up Range Rover Evoque. The Velar may well be the first beautiful Land Rover, but if you believe lead exterior designer Massimo Frascella, it won’t be the last.
2. It’s sophisticated.
The exterior design is flush with details reminiscent of a pie-in-the-sky show car, not a production SUV capable of wading through streams and descending mountains deftly. The door handles retract into the bodywork for a clean look, and pop out when you need them, a la Tesla. All of the exterior lights are LEDs, allowing for ultrathin shapes and sizes. The interior is a master work of incorporating new materials and surfaces, including cloth design developed with furniture maker Kvadrat.
3. The inside is remarkably high-tech.
Inside it a segment-first use of optical LED touchscreens that serve reconfigurable functions. The latest version of Land Rover’s infotainment system, Touch Pro Duo, is an ergonomic success story, allowing features that aren’t used every day to remain hidden until needed. You have to see Touch Pro Duo to understand and believe that you could use it while driving. This interior is not for the technology-averse.
4. It’s quick and efficient.
The Range Rover Velar is designed to compete with midsize luxury SUVs (think BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE/GLE Coupe), and its engine offerings will have across-the-board appeal: a 180-hp diesel, a 247-hp four-cylinder gasoline engine, and a 380-hp supercharged V-6 gasoline engine. If those engine choices seem familiar (the smaller gas engine is new), that’s because the Range Rover Velar is closely related to the Jaguar F-Pace in mechanicals and size. Like the F-Pace, the Range Rover Velar will be priced to sell, starting just about $50,000 and topping out under 80 grand. That leaves a space of about 12 grand on either side of the Range Rovers Evoque and Sport.
5. The name.
Oh — about that name? It has some history. “Velar” was the name given to the original, prototype Range Rover models back in the late 1960s, when Land Rover was preparing its foray into passenger trucks. To “veil” the fully uncovered trucks, Land Rover used only the badge “Velar,” and the rest is history.
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