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Published: Thu, March 02, 2017
Research | By Elias Hubbard

The Velar calmly rams itself into a place in Range Rover's garage

The Velar calmly rams itself into a place in Range Rover's garage

Ahead of this month's Geneva Motor Show, Land Rover has unveiled an addition to its Range Rover SUV family, its fourth model, the mid-size Velar.

Meet the Range Rover Velar.

The Valer looks very lovely. Just the job if you're going to go full lifestyle and will be climbing into the vehicle in wet or muddy clobber.

Whether trimmed in premium fabric or supple leather, the roomy passenger compartment of the new Range Rover Velar is a study in elegant minimalism. To start with it gets the new state-of-art Touch-Pro Duo infotainment system.

It looks like a real tech-lover's interior, but the technology is seamlessly integrated within the cabin rather than being tacked on as an afterthought.

The sporty front fascia features brilliantly detailed matrix-laser headlights, an instantly recognizable Range Rover grille, and an aggressive bumper with brushed metal chin and burnished copper-finished gills. The auto, launched in 2011, has become one of the company's most popular models.

The Velar is equipped with a range of advanced technology to deliver composure and agility on-road, and class-leading capability off-road. The new Velar, includes a 5in TFT screen between the dials, but more interestingly, it also includes an optional 12.3in Interactive Driver display. The Velar hits 60 miles per hour from a stop in a sports car-like 5.3 seconds in its fastest configuration.

As is customary for Range Rover, there are multiple exterior color and upholstery options, including synthetic suede and leather, dubbed "Suedecloth" and "Luxtec".

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Suedecloth fibres are created from recycled plastic bottles, and crafted into a textured non-woven material (that resembles Suede, we're guessing). It is finished in grey and has inserts in Ebony or Light Oyster shades.

Even the steering wheel is trying to get in on the act, featuring an array of capacitive buttons that can adapt and change depending on what's happening at that time. As you'd expect being a Solihull product the off road hardware is comprehensive. There's Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Queue Assist, and an Adaptive Speed Limiter.

The vehicle is built around an aluminium structure, and standard suspension for four-cylinder powered models is steel coil springs, and the ground clearance is 213mm. Low traction launch, hill descent control and gradient release control come as standard. And for the first year of the car's life, there's a First Edition, which adds more luxury on top of HSE spec, including a 1,600W sound system and 22-inch alloy wheels.

Land Rover's United Kingdom dealers are now taking orders for the Velar, with first customer cars due in the summer.

So much for the facts - as you read this the covers will be coming off the vehicle at its formal Design Museum unveiling. It's a great look, but other automakers haven't had the best usability results when removing physical buttons, so it remains to be seen how functional the new system will be in the real world.

The new Range Rover is very much a wagon despite speculation that the Velar would be a coupe-style SUV to take on the likes of the BMW X6. Range Rover's newest looker will come with an air-suspension on the supercharged V-6 models, and all Velars will be all-wheel drive. The Velar will be available at USA dealers later this year.

The entry-level Velar, when it comes to India, will get the 247bhp/365Nm petrol engine from the Jaguar XE along with the 237bhp Ingenium diesel that develops 500Nm of torque.

A special First Edition, limited to 500 units, will be available at launch.

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