Range Rover’s first new nameplate since 2011 — the Velar — will be available in the UAE from the second half of the year, company sources here confirm. This follows its launch on Wednesday at the Geneva Motor Show, with the Velar slotting in neatly between the Evoque and the flagship Range Rover.
While the top-of the-line model, including the Sport version, commands a committed user base in all of its key markets, the manufacturer obviously sees merits in drawing in new band of followers to sign up for the Range Rover legacy. With its sister brand Jaguar already scoring nicely with the F-Pace SUV, the Velar has enough to keep the momentum going. (In fact, it will be built at the same UK plant as the F-Pace.) Velar fills up the “white space” between the Evouqe and the Range Rover, says the manufacturer. Indicative showroom prices here have not been revealed, but the Evoque starts from Dh180,500 and the RR from a stately Dh416,100. (The pre-launch version was “subject to a rigorous hot-weather test programme from our MENA base, as with all Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, a regional spokesperson said.) Wednesday’s launch is also a crystal ball into where the design ethos of the brand is heading. Velar “previews the next generation of Range Rover vehicles”, says a statement issued by the manufacturer, part of the Tata Group. And it is built on Jaguar Land Rover’s now standard “Lightweight Aluminium Architecture”.
“Velar is now the compelling, standout design in the class, showcasing perfectly optimised volume, powerful, taut surfaces and a stunning silhouette,” said Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, in a statement.
Last year, Jaguar Land Rover sold 583,313 cars, 44 per cent of being Range Rovers, a detail that will have played well on the bottom-line. A record US tally of 105,000 plus units helped, as did growing demand in China and India.
Other manufacturers are dipping into the same playbook of extracting as much as possible from a broader SUV offering. Mercedes-Benz’s recent successes are built in large part on a full-scale transformation of its entire SUV line-up, with the GLA and GLE being standouts. Volvo’s got the mid-range XC60 arriving in the UAE later this year.
The Velar will be available in 2.0 and 3.0 litre versions in both four- and six-cylinder formats. The former gets up to 250-hp and turn in 0-100 kmh lap in 6.7 seconds. A 300-hp version in a four cylinder setting will be introduced later in the year. There is also a 380-hp supercharged V6 petrol engine able to get to 100 kmh in 5.7 seconds.
There will be three specifications, and there will be one version — the top-end First Edition — that will be made only during the first year.
The F-Pace is getting company
The Range Rover Velar will be built at the Solihull manufacturing plant in the UK, and the third one to roll out of the assembly lines there. It follows the channelling of £1.5 billion in new facilities and technology at the plant which began with the Jaguar XE and F-Pace.
“The expansion of our product range and building this British designed and engineered car in the UK is a sign of our confidence in British manufacturing,” said Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover CEO.
The “Velar” name has its origins from the code name the manufacturer used for the first Range Rover pre-production models in 1969.