Land Rover has revealed it will add a new Velar model to its Range Rover lineup of SUVs called Velar, which will occupy what the brand sees as a “white space” between the existing entry-level Evoque and Range Rover Sport.
Based on the same underpinnings as the Jaguar F-Pace, the Velar will come with standard all-wheel drive and take aim at other upscale compact crossover models like the Porsche Macan and, it must be said, the very Jaguar it shares its dirty bits with.
Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern says the company considers the Velar an “avant garde” model that brings “a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. (It) changes everything.”
The Velar name is new to a Land Rover production model, but was used in the 1960s to hide the identity of pre-production Range Rover models. It’s derived from the Latin velare, which means veil, or cover.
Central to the Velar’s interior design are a pair of touchscreens, an angle-adjustable one in the dash, and a second below on the console. The two are linked so that content can be moved between them, and the lower display fades to darkness when not in use, to reduce distraction. A third display lives behind the steering wheel, displaying a virtual gauge cluster that can be changed to show the car’s navigation map.
Land Rover says a 2,500-kg tow capacity (V6 models) is augmented by an advanced tow assist function that will let the driver use the touchscreen and backup to direct the car where to place the trailer, and the Velar will take care of the steering inputs needed to get it there.
Other tech includes advanced safety features like adaptive cruise with queue assist and intelligent emergency braking, reverse traffic detection and blind spot assist.
Powertrains for Canadian models will include a supercharged V6 shared with the Range Rover Sport (380 hp/332 lb-ft of torque) and an Ingenium diesel four-cylinder good for 240 hp and 368 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic is standard in all models.
On the outside of the aluminum-intensive body are LED headlights and a design conceived to be “as clean and elegant as possible” with flush-fitting door handles and LED taillights. An air suspension (standard in V6 models) allows up to 251 mm (about 10 inches) of ground clearance, a wading depth of up to 650 mm and AWD with electronic differential for torque distribution. Off-road tech includes Terrain Response, rear locking differential, all-terrain progress contro, low-traction launch, hill descent control and gradient release control.
At the Velar’s summer 2017 launch, pricing will range from $62,000 to $95,000.