Blend of modernity and tradition
“Range Rover Velar combines modernity and tradition to create something truly special,” said Mark.
The Velar comfortably handled any off-road terrain no matter how treacherous – as it proved during the two-day test in Norway.”
“The Velar’s proportions make it an incredibly elegant car.”
“The most eye-catching element of the interior is the signature material called Cut Diamond.”
Jaguar’s new Range Rover Velar has combined tradition, modernity, innovative design, industry-leading engineering and cutting-edge technology to create something truly special for the UK manufacturer. ArabWheels was part of a media team from the MENA region to participate in Jaguar’s Range Rover Velar Global Media Drive, which took place in the breathtakingly stunning Nordic nation of Norway.
Norway is home to more than 50,000 islands, mountains that rise straight from the sea and 51,000 miles of coastline that is wrapped around fjords and bays, unmatched anywhere else in the world. This picturesque location for the Global Media Drive provided the perfect backdrop for what was an intensive 400-kilometer drive over two days in the Range Rover Velar in this beautifully rugged, isolated and idyllic country.
The immediate observation you make when you first lay eyes on the Range Rover Velar is the exterior design of the vehicle. The Velar’s proportions make it an incredibly elegant car. When you examine the vehicle up close, you can clearly see the way the silhouette flows and the way the overhangs relate to each other (very short in the front with a long tail), which inevitably results in everything tapering towards the back.
In order to understand why the proportion of the Range Rover Velar is so different from other models, Jaguar chief designer for Production Exteriors Land Rover, Andy Wheel, explained the philosophy behind the exterior design. He stated that his team ensured that the new Velar enhanced the Range Rover DNA and even though it has a very different proportion, it is ultimately still very much a Range Rover. Wheel said that they adopted a ‘reductionist’ approach to designing the Range Rover Velar – one that incorporated and respected the DNA of the original Range Rover, whilst making sure it’s got what it takes to make a dramatic vehicle.
The exterior design of the Range Rover Velar strikes an alluring tonality that combines sophistication and seduction. The volume is gently pulled back and that really conveys a strong sense of elegance, but its large 22-inch wheels provide a feeling of robustness and strength. The Range Rover Velar’s sophistication is evident in the details of its burnished copper on the exterior elements. The reductionist approach that Andy highlighted during his presentation is obvious when examining the overall exterior design of the Velar. You can see that reduction has played a key role in the design process. The reduction adds modernity to the Velar, and the designers have identified all the elements that are crucial when designing a vehicle like the Range Rover Velar. It emphatically announces features whilst eliminating anything that really doesn’t need to be there – everything has a purpose. The exterior of the Velar is defined by its timeless ability to achieve total ‘purity’, which isn’t copying a current trend, or a different model: it’s typical of Land Rover and produces an exterior design that will stand the test of time.
The interior of the Range Rover Velar is incredibly luxurious and the overwhelming feeling you experience when you sit inside this car is a feeling of sanctuary. One of the most eye-catching elements of the interior is the signature material called Cut Diamond. This graphic iconography adds a different level of detail and character to the architecture and materials in the Range Rover Velar interior. Again, the policy of reductionism has taken away all of the visual noise and in addition to this has removed all the switchgear you would traditionally associate with Range Rovers. All of these elements combined, including the integration of technology, have created an ultimately harmonious interior in the Velar. The execution of the interior in the Velar is really spectacular and it encapsulates modernity, elegance and simplicity in a stunning fashion. The center console uses twin high-definition touchscreens stacked on top of each other, with the lower unit in a familiar blade configuration, and the deployable upper using motors to tilt it up and out of the top of the dashboard when the vehicle is in use. The way the design team and engineers have tailored the technology and integrated it into the interior of the Velar results in brilliant volume proportions, creating an intuitive driving experience.
The first edition of the Range Rover Velar will have some unique color material offerings with the satin finish body color flux delivered through Land Rover’s bespoke paint facility being one of the features available in the first edition. The UK automotive manufacturer’s collaboration with Europe’s leading manufacturer of premium textiles has provided the organization with the opportunity to offer customers a curated choice of materials on Range Rovers for the first time. With an increased focus from customers on well-being, sustainability, beauty and functionality, the introduction of the stunning signature Cut Diamond on the leather seats of the Range Rover Velar truly is an eye-catching design feature, which provides you with an overwhelming and wonderful feeling of incredible luxury. The Velar has challenged the traditional conventions of luxury materials and the premium textiles illustrate this perfectly.
The Range Rover Velar delivers a seamless and effortless driving experience. As Land Rover chief designer, Andy Wheel, highlighted during his design briefing, the Velar has been specifically created to ensure that you can drive 500 kilometers and feel as fresh exiting the vehicle as you did while entering it. The steering is precise, but firm – and the performance capabilities of the 380 horsepower supercharged 3.0-liter V6 petrol version are simply outstanding. It produces extraordinary power and the addition of torque vectoring braking means that the car can detect any understeer when cornering. Its off-road capabilities were also incredible – and the Range Rover Velar proved its worth when we embarked on the dizzying ascent up rocky terrain towards a Norwegian Ski slope at 1,024-meters, but the Velar completed this task with ease. The Range Rover Velar can comfortably handle any off-road terrain no matter how treacherous, as it proved during the two-day test in Norway. There’s Adaptive Dynamics technology installed on all Range Rover Velars – as well as Intelligent Driveline Dynamics, which ensures that all torque can be transferred to the rear when driving on a motorway.
After two days of intensive testing in on-road and off-road conditions, I can honestly say that the Range Rover Velar was a dream to drive with incredible performance and off-road capabilities. I think the Velar sits perfectly between the Range Rover Sport and the Range Rover Evoke – and it has undoubtedly created a different space for Range Rover. Land Rover identified that there was too big of a jump between Evoke and Range Rover Sport and they’ve now created the perfect vehicle with the inception of the Velar for buyers that had previously rejected the Range Rover and Land Rover brand because of how massive those full-sized cars were. The Velar has a compelling design, which is countered with tailored technology, and both those factors synchronize to create a car that resonates with you on an emotional level. The aim from Land Rover was to design a car that merged modernity with tradition – and the end result is a car of glamor and elegance, which is underpinned by strength and solidity. As chief design officer, Gerry McGovern, said, “The Range Rover Velar is truly an object of desire. It’s not just a car.”
Pros: Luxurious interior quality, beautiful front styling, high-tech features including high-definition touchscreens, superb driving experience, remarkable off-road capabilities, remarkable power, precise steering
Cons: Rear-end design, excessive price for top spec, no Android Auto
Rivals: Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X5, Porsche Macan, Porsche Cayenne
One word: flawless
Overall rating: 4.5 stars
Engine: 3.0L V6 supercharged, 340 hp@ 6,500 rpm, 450 Nm@ 3,500-5000 rpm
Transmission: 4WD, 8-speed ZF auto
Performance: 0-100km/h: 7.1 sec, top speed: 215 km/h, fuel consumption: 10.9 L/100 km
Chassis: 2,148 kg