Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date: 20 Apr 2018
Back in 1967 in Solihull, England a secret prototype program began at the Land Rover plant. The program was to create a new style statement and elite luxury off-roader under the brand name Range Rover.
To start the undercover design program, the first model would be named Velar or a Latin derivative of a word meaning to hide. This all-new Velar, however, can do anything but hide.
From any angle, the new vehicle follows beautiful design lines. By Land Rover’s own admission, it is the sportiest SUV which they have ever built. With underpinnings based on the sleek Jaguar F-Pace, the Velar has been designed to remain as poised and sporty as possible when you consider it is still an SUV.
Positioned to sit in the middle of the larger Range Rover Sport and the smaller Evoque, the Velar blends compacts styling with sports-inspired prowess. Sharing much of its DNA with that of its Jaguar family, the Velar features some very impressive and “Bond” style touches, such as door handles which fold in and out of the vehicle when locking and unlocking. There are also some brilliant Velar styled puddle lights and a beautifully illuminated interior, all in keeping with the vehicles ice cool image.
Like something which a martian has dropped from another planet! The Velar features an incredibly minimalistic and space-aged style interior. Taking centre stage is two large touchscreen displays in the centre of the dash. While the top screen is more conventional and folds out offering up the likes of media from all sources, the magic comes in-terms of the vehicle central settings display.
This secondary screen displays everything from your heated and massaging heat settings if specced to the likes of the vehicles climate controlled airconditioning and multitude of drive modes. Of course this is a true Land Rover product, and as a result, you can select everything from mud-ruts to snow and ice or even traversing rock if the mood takes you.
The Velar is available with several different engine variants. A choice of Ingenium four-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol and diesel motors are offered within the line-up. I spent my time driving the one denoted D240 HSE. This four-cylinder turbodiesel engine may sound small at just two-litres in capacity, however, it manages to push out a very healthy 177 kW and 500 Nm of torque with peak power revs at 4000 r/min and an impressive torque peak revs at a low 1500 r/min.
All the power is mated to the Velars smooth shifting automatic gearbox which is a real peach, and perhaps most impressive, the Velar really isn’t afraid to get dirty. Riding at 213 mm as standard and with a ride adjustable to 251 mm, the Velar is a true Land Rover that can certainly tackle the rougher stuff, and then simply dust off for its appearance at a swanky hotel.
While the new Range Rover may not appeal to RR traditionalists, I personally love its modern and ultracool approach. Pricing starts just above R950,000 and when you start adding the options, as fitted to my test unit, it can be pretty pricey. Then again, if you are looking for a stonkingly beautiful SUV that offers Land Rover practicality and one which is not afraid to get dirty while off-road, as well as one which looks the part arriving at an event like the Golden Globe awards, the Velar is pretty hard to beat.
SA Pricing & Warranty
2.0 diesel 132kW Base – R947,700
2.0 diesel 132kW S – R1 028,600
2.0 diesel 132kW SE – R1 077,900
2.0 diesel 132kW HSE – R1 172,400
2.0 diesel 177kW Base – R1 010,400
2.0 diesel 177kW S – R1 091,300
2.0 diesel 177kW SE – R1 140,600
2.0 diesel 177kW HSE – R1 235,100
2.0 petrol 184kW Base – R947,700
2.0 petrol 184kW S – R1 028,600
2.0 petrol 184kW SE – R1 077,900
2.0 petrol 184kW HSE – R1 172,400
3.0 diesel 221kW Base – R1 089,000
3.0 diesel 221kW S – R1 169,800
3.0 diesel 221kW SE – R1 219,100
3.0 diesel 221kW HSE – R1 313,700
3.0 petrol 280kW Base – R1 099,400
3.0 petrol 280kW S – R1 180,300
3.0 petrol 280kW SE – R1 229,600
3.0 petrol 280kW – HSE R1 324,100
2.0 diesel 132kW Base – R980,500
2.0 diesel 132kW S – R1 061,300
2.0 diesel 132kW SE – R1 110,600
2.0 diesel 132kW HSE – R1 205,200
2.0 diesel 177kW Base – R1 043,200
2.0 diesel 177kW S – R1 124,000
2.0 diesel 177kW SE – R1 173,300
2.0 diesel 177kW HSE – R1 267,900
2.0 petrol 184kW Base – R980,500
2.0 petrol 184kW S – R1 061,300
2.0 petrol 184kW SE – R1 110,600
2.0 petrol 184kW HSE – R1 205,200
3.0 diesel 221kW Base – R1 121,800
3.0 diesel 221kW S – R1 202,600
3.0 diesel 221kW SE – R1 251,900
3.0 diesel 221kW HSE – R1 346,400
3.0 petrol 280kW Base – R1 132,200
3.0 petrol 280kW S – R1 213,100
3.0 petrol 280kW SE – R1 262,400
3.0 petrol 280kW HSE – R1 356,900
Velar First Edition
3.0 diesel 221kW – R1 529 300
3.0 petrol 280kW – R1 539 800
Pricing includes Land Rover’s Five Year Care Plan including a 5-year/100 000km service plan, a 5-year/100 000km maintenance plan and a 5-year/100 000km warranty, as standard.