As per previous reports, the Velar slots in between the Evoque and Sport in Range Rover's model line-up, with its name, derived from the Latin word velaris meaning veil or cover, harking back to the original Range Rover concept shown back in 1968.
Touted as being the avant-garde Range Rover, the Velar rides on the same lightweight aluminium IQ platform as the Jaguar F-Pace, with dimensions of 4 803 mm in overall length, height of 1 655 mm, width of 1 930 mm and wheelbase of 2 874 mm, the latter eclipsing the Evoque by 214 mm and only 49 mm shorter than the Sport. According to Land Rover, this translates to a overall luggage capacity of 588-litres with all five seats up, and 1 731-litres with the rears folded flat.
Featuring what the company calls a radical development in terms of styling, the striking coupe-like Velar also debuts the British marque's new slim full-LED headlights which can be specified with Matrix-Laser Adaptive Front Lighting designed to prevent dazzling oncoming vehicles.
Similar to the Matrix IntelliLux setup used in the Opel Astra and Insignia, the lights also feature and extended range of 550 metres and even boast an Animal Detection Indicator for improved safety. In addition, the traditional door handles are ousted in favour of the same flush deployable pullers used by Jaguar and Aston Martin.
While it can be specified with wheel sizes ranging from 18 to 22-inch, the Velar, in typical Range Rover fashion, can also head off-road with gear such as Terrain Response 2 with five modes (Eco, Comfort, Grass-Gravel-Snow, Mud-Ruts, Sand and, on R-Dynamic models only, Dynamic), Hill Decent Control with Gradient Release Control, All Terrain Progress Control, Low Traction Launch and a wading depth of 600 mm.
Ground clearance is rated at 213 mm with the standard issue coil springs in place, although higher spec model also receive air suspension as standard, lifting clearance to 251 mm with the aforementioned wading depth going up 650 mm. Further new additions are Auto Access Height which lowers the suspension by 40 mm to aid entry and exist, and Ground Detection which raises the vehicle automatically to avoid underwater obstacles they driver may not have seen.
Inside, the Velar is standard issue Range Rover luxury but with a number of tech and safety first. Some of these include the much vaunted Touch Pro Duo infotainment system with dual 10-inch HD configurable touchscreens on the centre console, Gesture Control, 60GB internal hard drive, 4G internet with Wi-Fi hotspots, two eight-inch HD touchscreen displays in the rear with infrared headphones, twin USB ports with HDMI connections, and a choice of four sound systems with a 23-speaker 1 600 watt 3D Meridian being the flagship.
A series of trim pieces, leather and wood veneers can be selected with the option of a textile material in place of the standard leather, and ten ambient colour choices.
The extended list of safety tech includes Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Driver Condition Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition, Reverse Detection, Surround View Camera system, Adaptive Cruise Control with Queue Assist, and Intelligent Emergency Braking, Semi-Autonomous Tow Assist and Hitch Assist.
Up front, the Velar will be offered in a choice of three turbodiesel engines and two turbo-petrols all mated to a eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Part of JLR's range of Ingenium engine, the two four-cylinder oil burners both displace two-litres with outputs of 132 kW / 430 N.m and 177 kW and 500 N.m respectively, while the still Ford-based 3.0-litre V6 produces 221 kW and 700 N.m of torque. On the petrol side, the 2.0-litre Ingenium makes 184 kW and 365 N.m, and the AJ133 3.0-litre supercharged V6 shared with other Jaguar models 280 kW and 450 N.m.
Pricing the UK will start at £44 830 (R716 989) for the base Velar with 132 kW and top out at £85 450 (R1 366 646) for the limited run SDV6 First Edition. Land Rover South Africa is to yet confirm whether the Velar will come to South Africa but if it does, expect sales to start next year.