Geneva Motor Show: Range Rover’s Not So Little Brother

Smaller than Range Rover Sport but bigger than an Evoque, the new Range Rover Velar nudges its way into the world.

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Just when you thought the Range Rover family was full, here comes another one. Called the Velar, it sits below the Range Rover Sport. Ranger Rover says that “it plugs the gap between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport”.  Replace plugs with crowbars and it makes more sense. The name, Velar, comes from the name of the very first Range Rover prototypes way back in 1969 so contains a heap of history and poignancy.

The Velar has the option of five engines; the most popular will probably be the 178bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel, 0-60mph in 8.4secs, a top speed of 130mph and more than 52mpg.  It may not seem fast but let’s face it; it won’t be tearing around race circuits anytime soon. For those who want a bit more speed then a supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol, with 375bhp will be arriving in the near future. It will hot 155mph and do the 0-62mph time in 5.3 secs .All this speed comes at the cost of fuel consumption which falls to about 30mpg, thought if you can afford a petrol engine then you won’t be to bothered about mpg. Air suspension is standard with the V6’s for the best ride possibly.

The styling is more divisive than other Range Rovers. The Evoque is cute but chunky; the Sport is….well, sporty. The Velar on the other hand is trying to make its own look while trying to stay within the Range Rover family. The tapered rear end looks a tad squashed together but the tail lights look great as they wrap around the rear end. The door handles are recessed into the doors which help make this the slippiest Land Rover vehicle ever, with a drag coefficient of 0.32. You can make your mind up about the looks but I think that, in time, it will becoming a good looking car.

Inside, the interior is typical Range Rover, stylish and luxurious with plenty of tech including a new digital butler. Its new cutting edge infotainment system will learn what the driver likes and then serving what you want, when you want it but will never be intrusive. All cars come standard with autonomous emergency braking, traffic warnings and a device that detects if the driver is falling asleep. It wouldn’t be a Range Rover if it didn’t have the unrivalled ability to cross any and every surface on the earth.

The cheapest Velar will start at £44,830 and rising up to £72,000. If you want to get option happy then the price can rise to nearly £100,000 so just be careful. They go on sale in the coming few weeks. Is it a step in the direction for Range Rover or have they created a completely pointless car? Let us know below…


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