The Ve­lar — a beau­ti­ful con­tra­dic­tion

Range Rover’s lat­est is a com­plete stun­ner

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - SIBONELO MYENI

THE Ox­ford English Dic­tio­nary de­scribes the word “oxy­moron” as “a fig­ure of speech in which ap­par­ently con­tra­dic­tory terms ap­pear in con­junc­tion” — the best ex­am­ple of which I can think of is Naomi Campbell strut­ting her stuff in a Milan cat­walk wear­ing a de­signer dress whilst spot­ting Tim­ber­lands … get it? The new Ve­lar from Range Rover Mzansi gets a “heart-beat paus­ing” de­sign with of­froad abil­i­ties akin to Range Rover prod­ucts.

How does one de­scribe the Ve­lar de­sign with­out re­sort­ing to x-rated words and sounds? I mean Ve­lar driv­ers will cause traf­fic chaos with peo­ple ei­ther want­ing to see it close-up or oth­ers want­ing to take self­ies next to it. Take a look at the pic­ture (which doesn’t do half the jus­tice to how it looks in the metal), but be care­ful not to make sounds that might need a 21-year age re­stric­tion.

The de­sign fuses sexy lines from the Evoque with the ex­ec­u­tive lines of the Range Rover “Big Body” but in an ex­e­cu­tion unique to the Ve­lar. Ma­trix-Laser LED lights with sig­na­ture LED day­time lights are of­fered. The side pro­file is dom­i­nated by the float­ing, slop­ing rear roofline with al­loys rang­ing in size from 18 to 22 inches, de­pend­ing on spec. Body flush door han­dles pop out when the ve­hi­cle is un­locked. S, SE and HSE spec are of­fered with each get­ting an op­tion of an R-Dy­namic de­sign. There is also a First Edi­tion model avail­able at launch, which gets unique de­sign en­hance­ments.

The in­te­rior sees a no­tice­able change for Range Rover with a mod­ern lay­out in­fused with tra­di­tional high-qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and soft leather. The fiveseat in­te­rior is spa­cious and prac­ti­cal with a class­nitely lead­ing lug­gage com­part­ment vol­ume of 673 litres. Add in the Panoramic roof and the in­te­rior light­ing pack­age and you have an in­te­rior wor­thy of long jour­neys. The tablet-like Touch Pro Duo fea­tures two 10-inch high-def­i­ni­tion touch­screens in­te­grated seam­lessly be­hind hid­den-un­til-lit sur­faces and pro­trudes nicely from the cen­tre-con­sole. Con­trols for the cli­mate con­trol and ter­rain re­sponse are now dig­i­tal. Heads-up-dis­play, dig­i­tal speedo screen, heated/cooled mul­ti­ad­justable elec­tric seats fin­ished in fine leather leave no doubt as to the Ve­lar’s class. The multi -peaker and sub­woofer Merid­ian Sound will defi- please sound clar­ity purists.

A range of diesel and petrol en­gines are of­fered as per spec and per­for­mance claims be­low:

All en­gines are matched to smooth-shift­ing ZF eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sions and all-wheel drive with in­tel­li­gent driv­e­line dy­nam­ics. The light, stiff, alu­minium-in­ten­sive body, to­gether with dou­ble-wish­bone front and In­te­gral Link rear sus­pen­sion pro­vides the per­fect ba­sis for ag­ile han­dling, su­pe­rior ride com­fort and out­stand­ing re­fine­ment. The Ve­lar has been de­signed to ma­jor in ride com­fort (air sus­pen­sion), agility and dy­nam­ics (torque vec­tor­ing and adap­tive dy­nam­ics sus­pen­sion) with class-lead­ing off-road ca­pa­bil­ity (ter­rain re­sponse, low-trac­tion launch, ac­tive rear-lock­ing diff and hill de­scent con­trol).

The light­weight ar­chi­tec­ture en­hances dy­nam­ics es­pe­cially when it comes to change of di­rec­tion. On the test route, the Ve­lar has a per­fect bal­ance be­tween ride com­fort and dy­namic han­dling, largely due to the op­tional multi-ad­justable air sus­pen­sion.

Com­bined with a com­pre­hen­sive re­straints sys­tem that in­cludes six airbags, and a suite of ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance sys­tems, in­clud­ing adap­tive cruise con­trol with queue as­sist, the Ve­lar in­te­grates the lat­est safety tech­nolo­gies.

REC­OM­MENDED START­ING RETAIL PRICES:

Range Rover Ve­lar 2.0D 132kW D180 R947 700 Range Rover Ve­lar 2.0D 177kW D240 R1 010 400 Range Rover Ve­lar 3.0D 221kW D300 R1 089 000 Range Rover Ve­lar 2.0P 184kW P250 R947 700 Range Rover Ve­lar 2.0P 221kW P300 R1 099 400 Range Rover Ve­lar 3.0P 280kW P380 R1 099 400 All new Land Rover ve­hi­cles come with the Land Rover fiveyear care plan: a five-year/100 000 km ser­vice plan, a fiveyear/100 000 km main­te­nance plan and a five-year/100 000 km war­ranty, as stan­dard.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The new Ve­lar from Range Rover.

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