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The Geneva motor show will witness the launch of Range Rover’s most radically designed cars, the Velar. The Porsche Macan, BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe are the cars it will take on upon launch and slot in between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport in their line-up.
The Velar name was originally used on secret Range Rover prototypes in the late 1960s. Said to be closely related to the Jaguar F-Pace and originally called the Evoque XL, the five-seater Velar is built on JLR’s IQ platform. Rather than transversely positioned units in the Evoque, the engine will get a north-south position. The F-Pace connection hints that the Velar will be longer and maybe even more spacious than the Macan. It will only be available in four-wheel drive.
High ground clearance and short overhangs make it look off-road worthy but it does not get a separate low-range gear. This is another similarity it shares with the F-Pace.
The interior is expected to stand out. Gerry McGovern, the design head at Land Rover, and his team are known for creating very high-quality cabins with simple controls and layouts. Porsche, on the other hand, has a more aircraft-like comprehensive approach.
The Velar will be launched with Ford-sourced V6’s currently used throughout the JLR range but these will be replaced over time with the Ingenium 3.0-litre, in-line six cylinder petrol and diesel engines. These will be modular versions of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium engines with two extra cylinders.
There is a possibility that the Velar may be powered by the electric powertrain that JLR is developing for the I-Pace SUV. What is more likely, however, is that the Velar will have a hybrid version.
If Land Rover chooses to install its most powerful 550hp supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine in the Velar it could be an exciting range-topping high-performance variant. The F-Pace SVR is already set to receive this engine.
Thanks to an aluminium body, the Velar could tip the scales at about 1,800kg. This would give the SUV-coupé an advantage over the X6 and GLE Coupe.
The Velar belongs to the ‘Luxury’ pillar of Land Rover’s three-pillar vehicle strategy. It shares this with other models that wear the Range Rover badge. The ‘Leisure’ pillar has the Discovery and Discovery Sport and the final ‘Dual-Purpose’ pillar remains dormant until the launch of the highly anticipated Defender in 2019.