Rover family extends it range
Expect to see the fourth member of the Range Rover family in New Zealand before the end of 2017.
The world premiere of the Velar - which sits between the Evoque and the Sport with the Range Rover still the top dog - was at London’s Design Museum on Thursday (NZT).
It is considered to be the brand’s most road-friendly vehicle yet while also introducing new technologies in creating a sumptuous and highly connected five-seater cabin. It doesn’t, however, forego the company’s off-road credentials with an advanced all-wheel drive system supported by the latest in electronic driver aids and adaptable air suspension on highend models.
"It’s a more car-like Range Rover, but still with SUV capabilities," Jaguar Land Rover chief executive Ralf Speith said.
"It’s lower, but there’s a higher seating position. It’s also a modernistic design, very dynamic, and we have this plate technology, with the opportunity to shift the contents from one screen to the another."
The Velar is seen as a rival for sporty SUVS such as the Porsche Macan, BMW X4 and Mercedesbenz GLC Coupe but, like the Jaguar F-pace, also straddles a unique space between the class above in terms of overall size, price and performance.
It is 214mm longer than the Evoque and will come with a range of six diesel and petrol engines from four-cylinder through a supercharged V6. All are matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It will sprint 0-100kmh in 5.7 seconds and has an electronically-limited top speed of 250kmh.
A feature of the outside is flush deployable door handles - a Range Rover first. The handles, which feature subtle LED illumination, deploy when the doors are unlocked via the key fob, or by pressing a discreet button set into the handle, and hinge forwards when pulled to open the doors. They retract seamlessly into the doors when the car is locked, or at speeds above 8kmh, improving aerodynamic efficiency for improved fuel efficiency.
Inside there is Range Rover’s signature T-bar dash design which introduces Land Rover’s latest in digital technology. Not only does the instrument panel feature a 12.3-inch digital display that can be configured in multiple designs, but there is are two 10-inch colour screens in the centre of the dash that work in unison to control all multimedia, navigation, vehicle settings and ventilation controls.
Dubbed Touch Pro Duo, the top screen has a thin polycarbonate capacitive display that follows the curvature of the dash for a flush fit when the vehicle is switched off, but flips forward when the ignition is activated - another piece of "theatre" in the start-up process, something Jaguar and Land Rover are renowned for.
That screen is used for the majority of multimedia functions while the second screen at the base of the dash houses ventilation and vehicle control settings such as the Terrain Response system that alters the vehicle’s parameters to suit different driving conditions, from everyday road use through the plodding across mud and rocks. It even displays the water level of the car in creek crossings and how close it is to its maximum wading depth of 650mm.
There are also four USB outlets and four 12V power sockets throughout the cabin, and it can be equipped with a 4G wireless hotspot and a 60GB hard drive for music storage.
The Velar will be built at the company’s Solihull production facility in the UK.
The Range Rover brand is now almost 50 years old with the first model unveiled in 1970.
The Range Rover Velar.