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New models - Land Rover - Range Rover Velar

Geneva show: Range Rover Velar to kick off at $70k

Wide Range: The latest addition to the Range Rover line-up, the Velar, will offer customers a choice of six powertrains in petrol and diesel.

New Range Rover Velar set to come in a whopping 42 varieties from $70k to $167k

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Land Rover logo2 Mar 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

THE new fourth member of the Range Rover line-up, the mid-sized Velar, will have an entry price below the most affordable Jaguar F-Pace when it arrives in Australian showrooms in December.

It also will have at least two variants more expensive than the top-most F-Pace, to which the Velar is closely related under the skin.

Revealed overnight at London’s Design Museum ahead of its formal debut at next week’s Geneva motor show, the five-door, five-seat luxury SUV will have an Australian starting price of $70,300 plus on-road costs for a base cloth-seat four-cylinder diesel version – more than $4000 cheaper than the F-Pace 20d Prestige ($74,340).

But while Jaguar’s most luxurious version of its all-wheel-drive wagon tops out at $120,415 for the special launch edition F-Pace 35t, a similar first edition variant of the Velar will soar to $167,600.

Sitting above the usual range topper (the Velar V6 HSE that will sell for $135,400), this special edition V6 Velar will come with full leather interior trim, 1600-Watt Meridian Signature sound system, matrix-laser LED headlights and 22-inch split-spoke wheels with diamond-turned finish.

Jaguar Land Rover Australia has confirmed the newcomer will come in a whopping 42 flavours – counting all variants and option packs – when the new model lands in Australia before Christmas.

As we have reported, the Velar slots into the Range Rover line-up between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, in what parent company Land Rover calls “white space” in the range.

It claims the new model will attract a new type of customer to the brand.

Although some British publications speculated that the Velar would be a coupe-style SUV to take on the likes of the BMW X6, the new Range Rover is very much a wagon, and a smooth one at that.

As with other Range Rovers, the Velar and Velar R-Dynamic core ranges will come in Standard, S, SE or HSE specifications.

Built on a lightweight aluminium monocoque platform shared with F-Pace, Velar – a name taken from the Latin velare, meaning to veil or cover, that was the development code name for the original Range Rover in the 1960s – boasts a long 2874mm wheelbase that Land Rover says delivers exceptional cabin space and 558 litres of luggage room with the split-fold rear seat in the upright position.

Six powertrains will be on offer, all hooked up to ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission. No V8 has been mentioned, nor a hybrid.

Four-cylinder Ingenium diesel engines will come in 132kW and 177kW variants, both with 500Nm of torque.

A new four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine delivering 184kW is said to power the Velar from zero to 100km/h 6.7 seconds. An even more powerful 221kW version of this engine will join the Velar range later in the year.

The 3.0-litre V6 diesel produces 700Nm of torque, while the range-topping 280kW supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine can achieve a 5.7-second 0-100km/h dash.

All Velars will be fitted with an all-wheel-drive powertrain with an active locking rear differential. Range Rover says this setup not only delivers world-class all-terrain capability but also maximum driver engagement on the road.

Air suspension will be a standard fixture on the V6 variants, while all steel spring variants will get multi-mode adaptive suspension. Ground clearance of the air suspension Velars is a handy 251mm, while the others can clear 213mm without scraping.

The wading depth is said to be class leading at 650mm for the air suspension and 600mm for the others.

Wheels range between 18 inch for the base variants, up to 22 inch for the sportiest applications.

The British company is making much of the Velar’s styling, which it describes as compelling in its simplicity and “born from reductionism”.

Wind-cheating items such as flush door handles and slim headlights contribute to a low 0.32 coefficient of drag, making it the most aero Range Rover ever built.

A unique feature is the “burnished copper” trim on items such as front air vent flutes as an alternative to chrome or matte black.

If the press kit is any guide, a big selling point will be a new infotainment system – called Touch Pro Duo – that Land Rover says breaks new ground in both sophistication of operation and simplicity of use.

The system sits behind two 10-inch touchscreens with “secret-until-lit” surfaces that Jaguar Land Rover’s connectivity director Peter Virk describes as “your window on the world”.

“The connected infotainment system learns from you and anticipates your needs, serving you what you want, when you want it – but never intrudes letting you enjoy the drive, while it takes the stress out of daily life, like any good butler or digital personal assistant should,” he said.

Off-road capability is enhanced with new versions of Land Rover’s traction technologies, including Terrain Response 2, All Terrain Progress Control, Low Traction Launch, Hill Descent Control and Gradient Release Control.

Safety technologies include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert and driver drowsiness alert.

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