The Range Rover Velar has been unveiled

The new Range Rover Velar.

The new Range Rover Velar.

The original luxury SUV was created in 1970 when Land Rover launched its original Range Rover. Almost half a century later, on March 1, Land Rover says that same spirit of innovation continues with its fourth member of the Range Rover family, the new Velar.

The unveiling took place at the Design Museum in London and it exhibited the Velar until last Sunday - the first time the museum had exhibited a car. The last time Land Rover displayed a vehicle in this way was in the early 1970s when the original Range Rover was shown at the world-famous Louvre Museum in Paris, as an example of “exemplary industrial design”.

The new Velar fills the space between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. And Land Rover says it reaffirms its position as the world’s leading SUV brand. The new Velar goes on sale from this summer.

Described by the brand as elegant simplicity, a visually reductive approach and pioneering consumer technology are the hallmarks of this new Range Rover.

Advanced consumer technology is reflected in the use of trend setting materials, and unique in the segment, the Velar offers a sustainable, premium textile seat material as an alternative to leather.

Land Rover chief design officer, Gerry McGovern, (whose father hails from Co Leitrim ), said: “We call the Velar the avant garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. It reinforces our total commitment to design and engineering excellence. The Range Rover Velar changes everything.”

Land Rover says it is refined for every occasion and every terrain, and that it uses unique sustainable materials and advanced engineering to continue its drive to go ‘Above and Beyond’.

Created from a clean sheet using Jaguar Land Rover’s lightweight aluminium architecture, the Range Rover marketing people says it is safer, stronger, cleaner and improves driving performance.

The origin of the Velar name (pronounced vel-ar ) dates back to the first Range Rover prototypes of the sixties: the pioneers of the luxury SUV landscape. When the well read development engineers needed to hide the true identity of the 26 pre-production Range Rovers, they chose the name Velar, derived from the Latin velare meaning to veil or cover.

Land Rover says the Velar was dubbed ‘Blade’ by development engineers due to its slender profile and clean surfaces, the innovation makes the in-car technology experience clearer, quicker and more enjoyable, enhancing every journey.

It adds that the Velar demonstrates the power of British innovation, with it having been designed, engineered and also about to be manufactured in Britain.

The Velar was launched with a suite of consumer technologies, working together to create an in-built technology butler, which Land Rover says will enhance customers’ lives. At its heart is a new, cutting-edge infotainment system called ‘Touch Pro Duo’.

Land Rover makes the point that pivotal to the contemporary design of Velar are the full matrix-laser LED headlights, the most slender ever to appear on one of its production vehicles, the flush deployable door handles, and the burnished copper coloured detailing on the front bumper blades and fender vents.

Land Rover’s engineers say the Velar has a sophisticated four-corner suspension system, delivering peerless refinement with unrivalled comfort and control.

We are told five engines are offered at launch, ranging from the clean, responsive 180PS 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel, to the potent 380PS supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. It adds that a 300PS Ingenium petrol engine will join the Velar range later in 2017.

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