Range Rover realized it was not taking full advantage of the luxury SUV market segment. The automaker needed a new model to slot between the Evoque and the Sport models to take advantage of the exploding demand of its SUVs. The automaker set out to craft a model to solve this problem and during this year’s Geneva Auto show, the automaker released the answer in form of a new model christened the “Range Rover Velar”. The 2018 Range Rover Velar ushers in a new design language that will extend to the entire Range Rover lineup. The new model is however underpinned by the Lightweight Aluminum Architecture from the parent company, Land Rover. This is the same platform that underpins the Jaguar F-Pace. The mid-size SUV will be offered in a base; S; SE; R-Dynamic SE; R-Dynamic HSE and the range-topping First Edition trim levels.
2018 Range Rover Velar Exterior
The Velar looks sleeker and much smoother than the current range of Range Rovers; its rear roofline has a more slanted design than even that of the Range Rover Sport. Its entire body is full of edgy detailing and formal body lines. Overall, the SUV has a low-slung yet powerful look. At the front, the design is easily recognizable as a Range Rover due to the signature grille that is the central piece of the rounded nose. It is surrounded by LED headlights on the sides. The new lights use “adaptive matrix LED technology” that helps shield oncoming drivers from the Velar’s glare. There are also laser high beams that come in handy on dark roads; they can illuminate over a distance of 1840 feet away. The front also features larger air vents on the extreme sides and in front of the front wheels. The hood is also vented to flaunt the Range Rover’s utility nature as well as enhance the model’s performance credentials.
On the sides, the model rides on 18-inch wheels in standard form but one can opt for 22-inch rollers. The most captivating features, however, are the deployable door handles. In place of conventional handles is a button that unlocks and locks the door. The handles slide out when unlocked and retract when locked to enhance the models aerodynamics (a shrewd move from the automaker). This system is also used on the Jaguar F-Type. The Velar is very aerodynamic for a model of its size posting a stunning coefficient of drag of 0.32. The door handles can also be operated via a Smartphone or via smart wristband key.
The rear design is similar to that of the front fascia. To start with, the bumper has an upward turn and like the headlights, the taillights are mounted to align with the model’s main character line. The LED taillights have 3D- like look. Between the taillights is the all-familiar Range Rover badge. The exhaust tips are slotted at the far ends of each side; the units which are protruding from the fascia are finished in chrome. The roof, pillars, side mirrors, lower bodywork as well as the lower character line are all blacked out.
The range-topping R-Dynamic trim is set apart by copper accenting, 22-inch Dark Grey Satin wheels, a deeply mounted front bumper as well as dark lettering on the engine hood and tailgate.
Size-wise, the Velar stretches 189.1 inches long, 80 inches wide (when side-mirrors are folded) and has a height of 65.6 inches; the SUV has a wheelbase of 113.1 inches.
2018 Range Rover Velar Interior
The cabin of the new Range Rover Velar is similar to that of other latest Range Rover models but the finishing is more futuristic. All Velar models are upholstered in premium leather. The Velar cabin accommodates five passengers. All other niceties common with Range Rover are present including heating and ventilation on front seats, heating for the rear seats and a rear entertainment system among others. All passengers will get to enjoy sufficient headroom and legroom.
The 2018 Range Rover Velar comes with a 10-inch digital gauge cluster as well as touch-sensitive controls mounted on the steering wheel. There is a second, 10.0-inch screen that hosts the model’s Touch Pro Duo infotainment system as well as the HVAC system’s touch controls. The infotainment system allows for multi-gesture controls such as swiping and pinching. The system also integrates 4G LTE Wi-Fi as well as 60GB of onboard storage. In addition, once the engine switches on, the screen tilts to provide the driver a glare-free view. Most of the functions are executed via the screens as the model comes with only three physical knobs, two for temperature control and one to control the radio volume. When the model’s engine is off, the screens look clear and the touch controls come alive once the screens are illuminated. The vehicle also features a new version of the rotary gear shifter; the unit rises up once the engine is turned on. The HVAC touch controls also double as controls for selecting terrain modes of the Terrain Response system.
The cabin is also optimized for storage; for example, the center armrest once slid rearward it reveals two cup holders and when opened reveals a storage box. There are also bottle holders on every door. The trunk offers 34.4 cubic feet of storage space.
The Velar is available in the base S, the mid-SE, HSE and the range-topping Velar R-Dynamic trims.
Engine and performance
The 2018 Range Rover Velar will continue with three engines, two gasoline engines and a turbodiesel. The base engine is a 2.0 L, 4-cylinder turbodiesel; it produces 180 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. The mid-level engine is a 2.0 L, turbocharged 4-cylinder unit good for 247 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. Both the turbodiesel and the gasoline mill are from the automaker’s Ingenium line of engines. The most powerful engine is a 3.0 L, supercharged V-6 that is sourced from the Jaguar lineup. The engine produces 380 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque just like on the Jaguar F-Type S.
The three engines will use an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission system and will also feature full-time AWD as standard.
While a coil-spring suspension is standard, a 4-corner air suspension is only standard for models with the V-6 mill and optional on others. This suspension increases the model’s ride height by which in turn raises the model’s ground clearance level to 9.88 inches enabling the Velar to ford up to 25.59 inches of water. Models without the air suspension have a ground clearance of 8.38 inches and a fording depth of 23.62 inches.
Models with the turbodiesel are the slowest needing 8.4 seconds to complete a 0-60 mph run, models with the 4-cylinder gasoline engine need 6.4 seconds while models with the V-6 are the fastest needing only 5.3 seconds. When well equipped, models with the V-6 engine can tow up to 5,500 lbs. To aid in towing, the models feature an Advanced Tow Assist system that enables the driver to better control (reversing in particular) the vehicle while towing a trailer.
Price and release date
The Velar’s pricing also slots between the Evoque and the Sport. For example, the Evoque has an MSRP of $41,800 while the Sport starts at $65,650 with the Velar in between at an MSRP of $49,900. The case is replicated on other trims. The most expensive of the lineup is the range-topping Range Rover Velar First Edition which attracts a price tag of $89,300. The First Edition will be available in Limited numbers with the U.S. market getting only 500 units.