The mask was finally lifted on Range Rover’s new Velar, the fourth member of its luxury 4×4 family.
The Range Rover Velar has been designed to ‘fill the white space’ between the minor Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport and take on rivals such as the Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace, and Audi Q5.
After a sequence of teaser images was released last week, the full wraps came off the new mid-sized SUV, which will cost from just under £45,000, at a VIP party at the Design Museum, in London’s Kensington.
The new car has not only been designed with women buyers in mind but even offers a moral ‘vegetarian option’ which replaces the luxury leather seats with coverings made from recycled plastic bottles.
The launch came in advance of its manifestation at next week’s Geneva Motor Show and the Velar is the fourth addition to the 47-year old Range Rover family, taking its title from the soubriquet used on the original 26 pre-production Range Rover prototypes of 1969.
That name came from the Latin ‘velaris’, derived from the word ‘velo’ meaning ‘to veil or cover.’
A host of celebrities attended the event, including Damian Lewis, Ant Middleton, Rob Brydon and Jimmy Carr.
The top-of-the-range 3.0 liter supercharged V6 petrol-engined Velar will pack 380hp and have a top speed of 155mph, with the gallop from 0 to 60mph taking just 5.3 seconds.
Range Rover said that the Velar ‘offers levels of luxury, modification and all-topography capability never before seen in the mid-size SUV segment’.
The styling influences from its big brothers, the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover, are obvious – and Land Rover says the new Velar will bring ‘a new measurement of glamor, modernity, and elegance’ to the family.
The car will go on sale in mid-July and Land Rover said that it had seen more than 40,000 expressions of interest in the Velar before order books have even opened.
Bosses said it will be built ‘exclusively’ in Britain, at their Solihull factory, as a post-Brexit vote of self-assurance in the UK economy, noting that the up-market Range Rover family is now Britain’s biggest luxury export contributing £10billion a year to the UK economy.
The Velar uses the latest technology inside the cabin and under the fedora and sits on Jaguar Land Rover’s lightweight chassis, mechanical by the latest ultra-clean UK-built Ingenium petrol and diesel engines.
The Velar is the first new all new Range Rover produced by the company since the growth of the Evoque, although new versions of existing models have been launched since then
Range rover Velar said that it offers high levels of luxury and refinement and ethical non-leather interior options
Range rover Velar has also been built with driving enjoyment in mind, designed to offer comfort and space on the road
And the Velar is even designed at ‘ethical’ motorists who like their luxuries but shun leather.
Land Rover bosses say the move has been made to cater for the gradually more large pool of wealthy customers who enjoy good living but still have an ethics about animal welfare and the environment.
Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern said bluntly: ’Some people don’t want leather because it involves killing animals. So we have taken that on board.’
Not unpredictably for the launch of the latest Chelsea Tractor, two of Made in Chelsea’s most-loved stars, Spencer Matthews and Hugo Taylor attended the event.
Alongside the long-established leather options, Range Rover worked with Scandinavian textile experts Kvadrat to create the option interiors.
Traditionally, carmakers market their top of the range cars with the highest grade of leather trim for seats and dashboards. That still holds true with the new Velar, which features ‘luxuriously soft perforated Windsor leather’, extending from the seats to the instrument panel and door casings.
But Land Rover said that the Velar also offers a sustainable premium textile seat material as an option to leather upholstery.
This includes a man-made micro-fibre material called Suedecloth used as seat inserts, which is produced from recycled plastic bottles and crafted into a textured, non-woven material that is soft to the touch.
In addition, there is Kvadrat fabric made from a 30 percent blend of New Zealand wool with polyester, which is milled at Wooltex Mill in Yorkshire.
The Velar will go on sale in mid-July and Land Rover said that it had seen more than 40,000 expressions of interest
Range Rover bosses said the Velar will be built ‘exclusively in Britain, at their Solihull factory
Range Rover Velar
Price: from £44,830 to £85,830 for the ‘First Edition’
Width (excl mirrors): 1.930mm
Weight: Up to 2.55 tons
Ground clearance up to 251mm (air suspension)
Wading depth: up to 650mm (air suspension)
Six engines – five at launch.
Gears: 8-speed ZF automatic transmission
Luggage space: 632 liters with seats deployed
Range-topper: 3.0 litre supercharged V6 380hp petrol
0-60mph: 5.3 seconds
Top speed: 155mph (electronically limited)
Fuel efficiency: 30.1mpg
CO2 emissions: 214g/km
Frugal choice: 2.0 liter four-cylinder 16v 180hp diesel
0-60mph: 8.4 seconds
Top speed: 130mph (120mph with 18 inch wheels)
Fuel efficiency: 52.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 142g/km
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