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Wheels of the Week: Range Rover Velar is a true unveiling

The new Velar lives up to its name in both visible and invisible technology, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

It’s not often a vehicle is named after something you can’t see, but one can appreciate why Velar was chosen to brand Range Rover’s new luxury expression.

The word denotes something hidden or covered, from the Latin for “veil”, and goes back to when the original Velar prototypes were hidden from the public eye. The eventual Range Rover they became evokes the idea of a vehicle that is both sophisticated and intriguing, with a hint of hidden power waiting to be revealed. 

That ties in nicely with the quiet confidence behind the Velar’s luxurious design and seamless high-tech. The new Range Rover Velar features the latest Pivi Pro infotainment system, which gets better with each iteration. The improvements are obviously invisible, as they have eliminated the clunkiness of the first versions, which emphasised style over functionality. The latest expression is user-friendly and elegant at the same time.

It is presented on a larger 11.4” floating touchscreen, above a redesigned, more minimalist centre console. The console echoes luxurious upholstery with tactile, leather-free wool blends, and clean lines, meaning it is less cluttered than before and leaves more room for passenger and driver comfort.

The touchscreen is positioned within the driver’s eyeline, providing immediate and intuitive control of key functions, another outcome of the invisible design philosophy hidden in the new model.

A panoramic sunroof stretches overhead, combining high fashion with a healthy dose of practicality.

The Velar isn’t exactly a race car, but it gets you where you need to go in refined comfort that makes you happy to spend more time in the first-class cabin. It tackles highways with aplomb, and the air suspension smooths out bumpy roads. It leans a bit more than some rivals when one takes corners too enthusiastically, reminding you that luxury is its game, not racing.

But here’s the ace up the Velar’s sleeve: Land Rover heritage. Take it off-road, and the Velar transforms into a surprisingly capable adventure mobile. With Land Rover’s terrain management system, one can tackle light trails and uneven surfaces with confidence.

All-terrain performance is supported by an intelligent torque on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) system, which is just one of the many features that draws on a growing body of artificial-intelligence (AI) capabilities in the Jaguar Land Rover range. The on-demand AWS provides optimum torque distribution to suit the conditions detected by the vehicle, both on regular road or on slippery surfaces.

It’s not a hardcore rock crawler, but for weekend getaways that might involve a dirt path or two, the Velar has your back –both literally and figuratively, thanks to the great lumbar support of its upholstery.

It might not be the most thrilling drive, but it makes up for it with undeniable charm and off-road prowess, for a stylish, surprisingly practical, and luxurious ride.

It is an SUV that turns heads, pampers your passengers, and can handle a bit of adventure.


Range Rover Velar D200 Dynamic SE: R1,670,900

Range Rover Velar D200 Dynamic HSE: R1,814,300

Range Rover Velar D300 Dynamic SE: R1,857,100

Range Rover Velar D300 Dynamic HSE: R1,984,100

Range Rover Velar D300 Autobiography: R2,089,700

Range Rover Velar P340 Dynamic HSE: R1,961,100

Range Rover Velar P400e Dynamic SE: R2,093,300

Range Rover Velar P400e Dynamic HSE: R2,202,700

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