Porsche Macan rival is Land Rover’s most road-biased model and will sit between the Evoque and Sport; on sale this year
As the fourth model in the line-up, the mid-sized SUV is described by Range Rover as “filling the white space between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport”. It is a vital price point for Range Rover, plugging the gap between the £40,000 Evoque and £80,000 Sport and challenging important rivals such as the Porsche Macan and BMW X6.
The first image of the Velar shows a familiar design language, as seen on the existing Range Rover models, but with far smoother lines than previously. Whereas current models have numerous angular lines at the rear end, the Velar has a continuous sweep from the sides to the rear of the bodywork, creating a sleek, sporty silhouette.
A circling line of chrome further accentuates this continuation and the relatively small rear window further enhances the coupé-like styling, making the model less boxy than the current Range Rovers.
A panoramic sunroof also suggests an airy cabin and a glimpse of the infotainment system, showing two screens — one wide and central and one behind the wheel — closely reflects the interior shown on Jaguar’s all-electric I-Pace SUV seen at the LA motor show in November last year.
Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern said: “We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand.”
The Velar is set to be the most on-road-focused model yet produced by Land Rover. The company has described it as “refined for every occasion and terrain” and said it “uses unique sustainable materials and advanced engineering to continue Land Rover’s drive to go Above and Beyond”, referring to the company’s advertising tagline.
The name ‘Velar’ comes from the original Range Rover prototypes from 1969. It was used by development engineers to hide the identity of the 26 pre-production Range Rovers and is derived from the Latin ‘velaris’, meaning to veil or cover.
Autocar has previously reported that the five-seater will be closely related to the Jaguar F-Pace, with which it shares Jaguar Land Rover’s IQ platform. All Velars will have four-wheel drive and be built alongside the Range Rover Sport and F-Pace in the aluminium body and assembly plant in Solihull, West Midlands.
It will be launched with the Ford-built V6s currently used in the range but they will be replaced later by Ingenium in-line six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. A plug-in hybrid based on the 295bhp four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine is also expected.
The model extends the ‘Luxury’ pillar of Land Rover’s three-pronged vehicle strategy, alongside the other Range Rover models. The ‘Leisure’ pillar includes the Discovery and Discovery Sport and the ‘Dual-purpose’ pillar will remain dormant until the next Defender arrives in 2019.
Jaguar I-Pace’s cockpit sets template for Jaguars and Land Rovers
Based on the official image in this story, the cockpit design seen in the Jaguar I-Pace will be closely replicated in the Velar.
The I-Pace, which is a template for the future of Jaguar Land Rover interiors, uses three display screens. The primary interface is a 12.0in TFT touchscreen, while infotainment and climate functions are adjusted on a secondary 5.5in screen controlled by two rotary dials. Instrumentation is presented on a configurable 12.0in virtual cluster augmented by a colour head-up display.
The system has been built in-house and is based on the same technology used in the InControl Touch Pro system. Other existing tech, including wi-fi hotspots and the ability to use apps from a connected smartphone or tablet, will also feature in the Velar.