Rover fam­ily ex­tends it range

South Waikato News - - Motoring -

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.

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