Range Rover unveils the stylish new Velar

Range Rover may have redefined luxury off-roading since 1969 but not until 2005 did it embark on a model range expansion. The Range Rover Sport in 2005 and the sexy Evoque in 2010 were welcome additions to the range. With each of these becoming a success, Range Rover wants more. That's where the Velar steps in. 

Derived from the Latin word ‘velare’ which means to veil or cover, the name Velar is of significance to Land Rover. This was the name Land Rover apparently used in the sixties for the pre-production vehicles to conceal Range Rover's identity.

Officially unveiled in London this Wednesday, the Range Rover Velar would be making its public debut at the upcoming 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

The launch of the Evoque heralded an impressive new design direction for the Range Rover brand and the Velar sticks to it while trying to further improvise. We aren't surprised as the Evoque received universal acclaim for its style quotient. 

The Velar's fascia is unmistakably Range Rover, with slender full LED headlights wrapping around the clam-shell hood with bold 'Range Rover' badging. With simple lines complementing the classic proportions - long hood, generous wheelbase and substantial rear overhangs, the Velar's silhouette is pleasing to look at. One look at those flush-fitting door handles and the prominent waist line that acts as a plane on which the headlights, fender vents and taillights take shape and you would figure the designers at Land Rover have paid excellent attention to detail. Together with the Jaguar F-Pace with which the Velar shares its underpinnings, JLR now has a pair of sweet-looking SUVs.

The futuristic interiors are impressively minimalist and clearly a step up of anything in Range Rover's existing lineup. Dominated by a pair of 10-inch high-definition touch screens that stays discreet until lit, the console is devoid of ungainly buttons and switches. Dubbed Touch Pro Duo, the two screens control a host of functions between them including infotainment and Terrain Response system. The steering wheel features capacitive switches that allow the driver to program specific functions. In addition to leather, Land Rover also offers unique-to-the-segment Premium Textile seat material that's made out of sustainable sources.

The Velar's extensive feature list includes a 20-way adjustable front seats with heating, cooling and massage functions, electrically reclinable rear seats, four-zone climate control and four-corner air suspension. Safety kit aboard includes six airbags, Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Traction Control System, Dynamic Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, Roll Stability Control, Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist and an Adaptive Speed Limiter.

Power options include 2.0-liter 4-cylinder 'Ingenium' petrol and diesel engines in two states of tunes each, a 3.0-liter V6 diesel and a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 petrol with power outputs ranging from 177 horsepower to 375 horsepower. Transmission duties are taken care of by a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox. Torque-on-demand All Wheel Drive system with Active Locking Rear Differential and Land Rover's popular Terrain Response System take care of Velar's off-road credentials while the lightweight aluminium architecture makes Velar the most aerodynamic Land Rover with a drag coefficient of 0.32, impressive for a SUV.

When it goes on sale later this year, the Velar would slot in between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport to make it a four-strong lineup. With SUVs in high demand globally and JLR enjoying a healthy momentum with a slew of well-planned launches, the Velar is another hit in the making.

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