Published: Thu, March 02, 2017
Technology | By Timothy Carter

New Range Rover Velar revealed

New Range Rover Velar revealed

Based on Jaguar's IQ platform that underpins the F-Pace, the Velar's body is predominately aluminium sitting on a chassis consisting of double-wishbone front suspension with an integral link set-up at the rear. Ground clearance maxes out at 9.9 inches (8.4 with coil springs) and provides a fording depth of 25.6 inches (or 23.6 with coils). It also has Adaptive Dynamics damping tech on all models, as well as Intelligent Driveline Dynamics and optional active locking rear differential. In the past six years, the firm has more than doubled its workforce.

"It's a good reference that feels appropriate", says Massimo Frascella, Land Rover's exterior creative director, "I'd take that analogy as a positive". Its earnings for the nine months through December dropped 15 percent, which the company blamed in part on a weaker product mix and higher marketing spending.

Land Rover says the Range Rover Velar was "created from a clean sheet using Jaguar Land Rover's Lightweight Aluminum Architecture" and represents the next chapter of the automaker's success story. Torque vectoring is standard across the range. Land Rover's familiar Terrain Response 2, Low-Traction Launch, hill-descent control, and All Terrain Progress Control drivetrain algorithms will help traverse the rough stuff, but there is no low-range transfer case, supporting the understanding that the Velar is intended for slightly less rugged pursuits than is the Discovery. This latest system has a fully automatic setting to simplify the driving modes further should you not be able to decide between Eco, Comfort, Grass-Gravel-Snow, Mud-Ruts, Sand and Dynamic mode (the latter is only available with Dynamic trim models). The other petrol unit at launch is Jaguar Land Rover's supercharged 3.0-litre V6; it has 375bhp and 450Nm of torque - although again, its Carbon dioxide emissions of 214g/km mean it'll be a more expensive Velar to run than any of the diesels.

Question: What do you think of the new Range Rover Velar? "We were looking for a new level of simplicity, with the flush door handles and slim LED lights". Like all Range Rover vehicles, the Velar offers exceptional capability on a variety of surfaces, terrains and weather conditions.

As well as a single cross beam facing the front-seat passenger, there's a centre console with twin, high-definition 10.0-inch touch screens stacked one on top of the other, with the lower unit in a blade configuration, and the upper screen hinging out of the top of the dash top when the vehicle is in use.

Land Rover's design team has worked closely with Panasonic over the last two and half years, to refine the screen technology and reduce the size of the Magic Rings.

The instrument cluster of the entry level models features a five-inch TFT screen, with a larger 12.3-inch Interactive Drive Display fitted to SE specification models and above, this display offering similar functionality as Audi's virtual cockpit including a full screen navigation map.

The Velar is undoubtedly a very attractive SUV, but by making this an innovative urban-focused vehicle that is extremely capable off-road, as well as eliminating the painful price jump from Evoque to Sport, Land Rover may well have another global hit on its hands. Four-cylinder diesel editions will cost from £44,830 - nearly £15,000 more than the most basic Evoque, but only about £5,000 up on the average transaction price for the smaller auto. As with the Jaguar F-Pace, there will be a limited run of 500 First Edition Velars available only for the 2018 model year.

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