2018 RANGE ROVER VELAR
The all-new 2018 Range Rover Velar has been revealed, filling the space between the smaller Evoque and larger Sport in the British marque’s line-up, and will land in Australia later this year, in the Summer.
Pitched as the “avant garde Range Rover“, the Velar is claimed to offer new levels of refinement and technology for the brand, and is set to go on sale in Europe later this year.
When the Velar goes on sale in Australia, pricing will range from $70,300 to $135,400 before on-road costs. A special ‘First Edition’ variant will also be offered at launch, priced from $167,600 – again before on-road costs are applied.
Although full Australian details are still to be revealed, headline features in the Velar include the debut of the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system with two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens, along with Matrix Laser-LED headlights, Jaguar and Aston Martin-esque flush deployable door handles, and a minimalistic design approach.
The Velar is also the most aerodynamic Land Rover product ever, achieving a drag coefficient of 0.32. In order to achieve this, Range Rover has applied numerous techniques throughout the body to reduce drag, including specially-designed air channels in the rear spoiler that also help to cut the accumulation of dirt on the rear screen.
Despite its style-focused and aerodynamic design, the Velar still has all-round practicality like its stablemates.
Behind the second row of seating is a 558-litre boot, while a 2874mm wheelbase – about the same as the Mercedes-Benz GLC – helps provide plenty of space for rear-seat occupants. Depending on model, the Velar also features a towing capacity of up to 2500kg.
The Velar comes with the company’s renowned Terrain Response 2 system with switchable modes for different low-traction surfaces, along with offering All Terrain Progress Control, Low Traction Launch, Hill Descent Control and Gradient Release Control systems.
Models fitted with the standard coil-sprung suspension feature a class-leading 213mm of ground clearance, increasing to 251mm with air suspension (standard on V6 models, optional on higher-output four-cylinder models), along with a class-leading wading depth of 600mm (650mm with air suspension).
At speeds above 105km/h, the air suspension lowers the ride height by 10mm to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. Additionally, the Auto Access Height function lowers the suspension by 40mm when the car is turned off – allowing for easier access in and out of the vehicle.
Under the bonnet six engines are offered, including a mix of four- and six-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel units. All are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending drive to all-four wheels.
Two versions of the 2.0-litre ‘Ingenium‘ turbo-diesels will be available, in 132kW/430Nm and 177kW/500Nm tunes.
A 2.0-litre Ingenium turbo petrol will also be offered, producing 184kW of power and 365Nm of torque, propelling the luxury SUV from 0-100km/h in just 6.7 seconds.
Range Rover says an even more powerful 221kW/400Nm version will join the range not long after launch.
Meanwhile, a V6 turbo-diesel and supercharged V6 petrol will sit atop the range, the former producing 221kW of power and a meaty 700Nm of torque, capable for sprinting from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds.
The 280kW/450Nm petrol shared with numerous Jaguar performance models sees the Velar dash from 0-100km/h in a spritely 5.7 seconds.
The Range Rover Velar also offers an array of technology highlights, some being firsts for the British marque.
As mentioned before, the Velar will debut the company’s new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, which includes two configurable high-definition 10-inch touchscreens stacked at the centre of the dashboard.
Featuring a quad-core Intel processor, 60GB solid-state drive and 4G internet connectivity, the new-generation infotainment system offers a number of services and functions including online search for fuel stations, real-time traffic updates, Wi-Fi hotspot, and remote app compatibility.
The upper screen is divided into three menus for navigation, media and phone. It recognises swipe and pinch gestures much like a smartphone or tablet screen for navigating between menus and zooming in on maps.
Meanwhile, the lower screen is reserved for the climate control and Terrain Response functions, along with controls for the optional massage and ventilated seats.
The screens are complemented by to two rotary controllers that are configurable to perform different functions including climate control temperature, massage seat settings or the Terrain Response system – essentially a physical version of the touchscreen.
Between the two larger dials is a smaller one for controlling the vehicle’s audio system.
Capacitive switches sit below the screens to control maximum air conditioning and defrost settings, along with stability control and hill descent control systems.
Four audio systems are offered, including a 23-speaker 1600W Meridian sound system with three-dimensional sound-processing technology.
Customers can also specify the rear entertainment system, which adds two independent 8.0-inch high-definition displays featuring USB 3.0 ports along with HDMI connectors.
Numerous driver assistance systems will be offered, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning, lane keep assist, driver condition monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, 360-degree parking camera, park assist, semi-autonomous tow assist, and trailer hitch assist.
Four LED headlight designs will be available, including segment-first Matrix-Laser LED headlights, which have a range of up to 550m and feature animated direction indicators. LED technology is also used for the Velar’s fog lights and tail-lights.