The new Range Rover Velar is the sportscar of SUVs

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Remember when a Range Rover was a single mannequin and the indulgent icing on the Land Rover cake?

Well, it is nonetheless the latter, though the household has grown – huge time – to the purpose the place there at the moment are 4 distinct Range Rover fashions, every with an unlimited array of engines and choices.

It’s hardly stunning given the expansion spurt that has bombarded the SUV market just lately.

It’s all within the identify

It’s a brand new nameplate, however 1 with prompt heritage.

Velar – which is Latin for veil – was the codename given to the primary Range Rover prototypes in 1968 as they have been present process testing.

As for the place it sits within the household, it slots between the smallest Range Rover, the Evoque, and the Sport, which is sort of a miniature model of the large daddy – or what some merely name the actual Range Rover.

It competes with the likes of the Porsche Macan, BMW X4 and Jaguar F-Pace.

The luxurious of selection

Just since you purchase a Velar does not imply yours needs to be the identical as your neighbour’s.

In reality, there’s each likelihood it will not be, primarily due to the huge array of choices.

First it’s important to select between 3 diesel and 3 petrol engines (2 four-cylinders and a V6 of every).

Then you determine whether or not you need an S, SE or HSE, which determines what options come normal and whether or not you get extras corresponding to massaging seats.

By the top, you’ve got chosen considered one of 48 particular person fashions, which vary in worth from $71,550 to $168,862.

Then choose between 17 completely different wheel designs and an array of leather-based trims, sprint finishes and hues for almost any nook of the automobile. Then there’s the 3 roof choices; black, physique color or full glass.

Once you’ve got settled on which you can get caught into the pages and pages of choices that cowl every part from an air suspension system and ventilated seats to a 23-speaker Meridian premium sound system and matrix-laser LED headlights.

Wow…

Putting the Sport in SUV

The Velar not solely seems to be the enterprise – its smooth form even has retractable door handles and a low-slung stance – however can be the sportiest Range Rover ever produced.

Underneath it shares its aluminium structure with the F-Pace from sister model Jaguar.

However, the Velar is obtainable with adjustable top air suspension and different goodies to assist off-road.

But a number of kays is all it takes to understand the Velar is extra athletic than something that is worn a Range Rover badge beforehand.

The luscious grunt

It’s no Porsche or Jaguar, however it’s a step up for Rangie.

The steering is mild however hundreds up properly when you choose Dynamic mode.

However, there’s not the tactility and suggestions of a sports activities automobile.

While the V6 diesel has a great deal of luscious grunt and the supercharged V6 petrol is a efficiency winner, it is the candy four-cylinder diesel that appears greatest suited to the Velar’s character.

Staying the course

Despite its on-road focus the Velar is not afraid of getting down and soiled.

At the automobile’s launch west of Sydney executives led us into the bush for a mud highway shakedown.

Steep, rutted trails with occasional free rock and shallow, rocky river crossings characterised the gradual pace jaunt.

However, the path driving was restricted to vehicles with 20-inch tyres – bigger diameter tyres are usually extra liable to punctures in tough terrain – and modest moderately than aggressive roads.

That’s as a result of the Velar is lacking a number of the that the majority different Range Rovers have.

The off-road dreamer

Whereas a Land Rover Discovery can wade by as much as 900mm of water, the Velar solely ventures as deep as 650mm.

That stated, it’s extremely succesful towards its rivals – and that is the essential factor for Land Rover.

In quick, the Velar is extra for off-road dreamers than doers.

“It has the capability to go and do the things you may want to do one day,” says Jaguar Land Rover Australia MD Matthew Wiesner.

Gobbling up

SUVs are all Land Rover does, so it isn’t shock it desires to guard its patch.

And that is what the Velar is essentially about.

Wiesner concedes prospects have huge targets on the model’s again.

He additionally admits promoting a Velar might imply taking a sale away from an Evoque or Sport alongside it within the dealership.

But he isn’t fazed, saying it’s all about rising the pie.

“Our responsibility is we give our customers choice,” he says. “In the past we haven’t had those offering and we’ve bled customers to other brands.”

Brand energy

Wiesner denies the Velar is diluting the Range Rover – or Land Rover – model.

“What we’re doing is expanding what Land Rover means across a far broader space,” he says. “We’re going from niche to more a broader premium luxury space.”

He says the injection of extra luxurious into the Range Rover household is about boosting the Land Rover model and catering to a wholesome urge for food for succesful luxurious SUVs.

“Range Rover’s position continues to change into crucial, however it would not detract from what a standard Land Rover position can be round functionality.

“And not at any stage have we diluted the aptitude area – If something we have always improved it by varied applied sciences and different issues.”

Toby Hagon from executivestyle.com.au

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