Any luxury SUV fan knows a new Range Rover is something worth getting excited over, and so consider our curiosity piqued at the British marque’s upcoming car. The Range Rover Velar will be the fourth member of the automaker’s line-up, borrowing a historic name from the late 60s. Intriguingly, though, it’ll actually be the first production vehicle to launch with that name.
That’s because Velar was, traditionally, the name Land Rover used for its initial Range Rover prototypes. Initially, twenty-six examples of the first Range Rover were built between 1969 and 1970, not intended for sale but instead used as engineering development vehicles. The automaker gave them the name “Velar” as a twist on the Italian word “velare”, which means “to cover” or “to veil”. Now, it’s finally graduating to a production vehicle.
Range Rover says the new Velar will slot in-between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, borrowing a little of the ethos of each. “We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover,” Gerry McGovern, chief design officer at Land Rover, said of the new SUV. “It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything.”
That may be loaded with the usual automaker hyperbole, but there’s more to the Velar than just filling “whitespace” in the line-up. According to the company, the SUV will use “unique sustainable materials” to distinguish itself, both from its range-mates and from rival vehicles. However, it should still be capable of all the off-roading that you’d expect from something bearing the Range Rover badge. From the teaser images Range Rover has released today, we can glean a little information. The Velar is clearly taller than the coupe-esque Evoque, though lower than the Range Rover Sport; however, its belt-line is about the same as the smaller SUV, with the extra height added in the glass. That should pay dividends in interior space, helped by the glass roof.
Inside, we’re expecting space for five, though Range Rover could opt to make rear captain’s chairs an option and turn the Velar into a more luxurious off-road cruiser. The dashboard looks simple and straightforward from what we can see, dominated by a sizable touchscreen presumably running the latest version of the automaker’s InControl infotainment system.
As for the rest, we’ll have to wait until Range Rover takes the wraps off the Velar officially. That’s due to happen on March 1st, with the luxury SUV making its official debut in the metal at the New York Auto Show 2017.