This month, the Range Rover family grows a little bigger with the introduction of its newest member: the 2018 Velar mid-size luxury SUV.
Designed to fill the gap between the smaller Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, the Velar is the first example to display a so-called visually reductive approach that will define the next generation of models.
“We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything,” said Land Rover chief designer Gerry McGovern.
The profile of the vehicle is clean and minimalistic, with little clutter on the body between the long 2,874-millimetre wheelbase to distract the eye — even the door handles are flush mounted and deploy in a manner similar to the Jaguar F-TYPE. All the pillars and side mirrors are blacked out, and the sleekest headlamps ever created by the brand sit at the front, housing full LED lighting.
It’s a similar story in the cabin as well. As many physical switches as possible have been done away with, with many controls relocated to the InControl Touch Pro infotainment system, now with dual 10-inch high-definition touch screens. The displays are hidden away and do not appear until they are activated and lit.
Two powertrains are being offered at launch: a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel developing 180 horsepower and a 3.0-litre supercharged V6 with 380 hp, both mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.
The Velar doesn’t just look pretty, but is designed to be just as off-road capable as its siblings. All-wheel drive is standard, and when equipped with the optional air suspension, the SUV gains a ground clearance of 251 millimetres a maximum wading depth of 650 mm. Terrain Response 2 is also present, a traction control system that optimizes grip on a variety of driving surfaces including gravel, mud, sand and rock.
Prices start at $62,000 for the S diesel trim. For the first year of sales, Canada will receive 50 units of a grade-topping First Edition model bundled with the V6 and premium interior finishes, a 1,600-watt sound system and exclusive paint colours. The 2018 Range Rover Velar is available this summer.