New Range Rover Velar SUV revealed: Geneva debut, specs, prices, pictures and video

The new Range Rover Velar has been revealed at Geneva. It takes its place between the Evoque and the Range Rover sport, priced from £44,830

Land Rover has given the all-new Velar its official debut in the metal at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The firm’s star car for the show intends to cover many bases, being a rival for the Porsche Macan, BMW X6 and everything else in-between, and it should hit showrooms this summer.

Geneva Motor Show 2017 live

When it arrives on sale, the Velar will form the fourth pillar of Land Rover’s Range Rover line-up. It intends to bridge the gap between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, and appears as a new way for some Evoque customers to get into one of the brand’s larger cars. Against the tape measure, the new Velar comes in at 4,803mm, making it five centimetres shorter than the Sport. However, at its tallest point it’s only 5mm taller than the Evoque.

While the Velar isn’t a full-blown coupe-SUV to match the X6, its roofline is far more rakish than anything else in the Range Rover tent. The new car will be the firm’s de-facto coupe model, though in practice it should prove to be as practical and spacious as a Porsche Macan or the Jaguar F-Pace.  

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It blends Evoque with more traditional full-size Range Rover styling elements, though it does introduce one or two all-new design traits. Horizontal taillights, as with the Evoque, are found at the rear, though the Velar’s units are slimmer and stretch across the width of the tailgate. Other design firsts include the recessed, pop-out door handles, leading to a much smoother side profile.

Range Rover Velar: interior design

The Velar’s cabin showcases the latest in Land Rover’s design language - along with several new technologies that are new to Range Rover. The centrepiece of the front cabin is a triple-screen set-up on the fascia. It can incorporate a 12.3-inch TFT virtual cockpit display - as seen on Range Rover and Range Rover Sport - but the accompanying centre touchscreen lights up and tilts forwards when the vehicle is started up. 

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This central panel will show music, phone and navigation data as usual, but below it, Land Rover has replaced most of the fascia’s buttons with a further touchscreen. It controls elements like the heated seats, suspension and transmission settings, and the heater - and like the tilt screen, it stays dark until the vehicle is fired up. The same applies to the buttons on the steering wheel, incidentally - and the overall effect is one of greater sophistication than on any previous Land Rover product.

The view from the Velar’s driving seat isn’t quite as commanding as in the Range Rover Sport or Range Rover - a sign that the base has been lowered to retain headroom below the swoopier roofline. It works, though, because six-footers should have no problem sitting upright, even in the rear seats.

The boot is a decent shape too, and it boasts plenty of useful luggage hooks - although there is a noticeable lip to lift items over. The rear hatch is a conventional single-piece item, incidentally, without a drop-down or extendable ledge to sit on - but gesture control means it can at least be opened by waving a foot below the rear bumper. The boot capacity is 632 litres with the rear seats in place, and 1,731 with them lowered down; both of these sizes are comfortably clear of the space offered in a Macan. 

New Range Rover Velar: engine details

Even at launch, the Velar will have a pretty wide line-up of engines. The most basic unit, available only with the lowest two trim levels, will be a four-cylinder diesel producing 178bhp and 430Nm of torque - enough for a 0-60mph time of 8.4 seconds, but CO2 emissions of just 142g/km. The same Ingenium motor is also offered across the wider range, with 237bhp and 500Nm, and CO2 emissions of 154g/km. Then there’s a V6 diesel with 296bhp and 700Nm; it can crack the 0-60mph dash in 6.1 seconds, but its CO2 emissions are more hefty 167g/km.

Land Rover will also offer the Velar with a choice of petrol engines, even in the diesel-focused UK. There’s a four-cylinder Ingenium unit producing 247bhp and 365Nm of torque, although its CO2 emissions of 173g/km mean it’s one for private buyers instead of company car choosers. This motor will also be offered later this year in a more potent spec, with 296bhp and 400Nm. 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 CO2 emissions of 214g/km mean it’ll be a more expensive Velar to run than any of the diesels.

All Velars will be four-wheel drive, and all will get an eight-speed automatic transmission. All six-cylinder editions will get air suspension, too, but this will be an option for four-cylinder cars in higher trim levels; order one of these engines with the cheaper models and you will be restricted to coil springs only.

Range Rover Velar: spec and off-road ability

Land Rover says the Velar will be more capable off road than any of its rivals. Its approach angle can be up to 28.89 degrees, and its maximum wading depth on air suspension models is 650mm. The firm also claims it’ll be a useful towing vehicle, with a rated capacity of up to 2,500kg and Land Rover’s latest Tow Assists system to help with reversing manoeuvres.

The entry-level editions of the car, called Standard, get 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, keyless entry, a heated windscreen and LED headlights. S brings 19-inch alloys, the gesture-controlled tailgate, 10-way electrically adjustable front seats and leather upholstery. 

SE steps up to 20-inch wheels and adds Matrix LED lights with high beam assist, a 360-degree parking aid, Land Rover’s 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an 825W Meridian sound system. The range-topper, HSE, gets 21-inch alloys, Windsor leather seats with massage and climate function for front passengers, satin chrome trim, a power-adjustable steering column and adaptive cruise control with Queue Assist. 

There’s also a trim level called R-Dynamic, which brings sporty-themed detailing, including satin grey-finish alloy wheels and bright-metal alloy pedals, along with a more aggressive front bumper design. And for the first year of the car’s life, there’s a First Edition, which adds more luxury on top of HSE spec, including a 1,600W sound system and 22-inch alloy wheels. It’s available with the V6 petrol only, though. 

Land Rover is also offering the Velar with an alternative seat fabric for those who don’t want leather; developed in conjunction with Kvadrat and available as part of an Interior Premium Textile Pack, the new seat covering mixes wool-blend textiles with a Suedecloth insert that’s made from recycled plastic bottles.

Range Rover Velar: prices and on sale date

Land Rover believes the Velar can fill a useful gap in its pricing structure. Four-cylinder diesel editions will cost from £44,830 - almost £15,000 more than the most basic Evoque, but only about £5,000 up on the average transaction price for the smaller car. 

The Velar itself will be about £15k cheaper than the entry-level Range Rover Sport, too - but it’s worth noting that the entry point is for the 176bhp diesel in Standard trim only; if you want to get close to matching the performance of even the most modest Macan, the £43,500 model that has 249bhp, you’ll need a Velar S D240, which costs £10,000 more, at £53,720. 

The Velar will be built at Jaguar Land Rover’s plant in Solihull, where it will go down the same production line as the Range Rover Sport and F-Pace. Land Rover is taking orders now, and the first UK customers should get their cars from July.

What do you think of the new Range Rover Velar? Let us know in the comments section below...


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