The Range Rover Velar, first introduced to the market in 2017, was an instant hit with buyers who craved a Range Rover ‘Lite’ experience. The latest variant, recently announced, brings the model bang up to date with new technology thanks to the introduction of an electric plug-in hybrid option augmented by advanced new infotainment technology and new design features.
Frugal Package / Luxury Style
Described as a mid-size luxury SUV, The Velar sits between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport in the family line-up and offers customers the perfect balance of design and technology, only now with electric power. The new 2.0L four-cylinder P400e plug-in hybrid offers a smooth and refined drive, producing a combined 398bhp (404PS) and 640Nm of torque from the combination of a 296bhp (300PS) petrol engine and 105kW electric motor. 0-60mph is reached in a snappy 5.1 seconds.
A 17.1Wh lithium-ion battery, located under the boot floor, can be charged to eighty per cent in just thirty minutes using a fast DC charge point, or one hour forty minutes using a standard 7kW wall-box. With zero tailpipe emissions in electric mode, a pretty impressive real-world all-electric range of 33 miles, fuel economy of up to 130.2mpg and CO² emissions from just 49g/km, the Range Rover Velar is now said by the brand to be more sustainable.
The Mild Hybrid Choice
Non-hybrid drivers might like a choice of 3.0L straight-six Ingenium engines, also introduced to the Range Rover Velar for the first time. They are also, both petrol or diesel, available with 48-volt mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV) technology for reduced fuel consumption and heightened refinement. The MHEV system uses a belt integrated starter generator in the engine bay to harvest energy usually lost under deceleration, which is then stored in a 48V lithium-ion battery located beneath the rear load space. It is able to redeploy the stored energy to assist the engine when accelerating away, while also delivering a more refined and responsive stop/start system.
Inside The New Velar
The interior features a typical brand design, emphasised with beautifully integrated digital screens that are now fitted with Land Rover’s state-of-the-art infotainment system called, bizarrely, Pivi and Pivi Pro. The intelligent and intuitive system transforms the digital experience inside the Velar, we learn, and customers can access software updates ‘over-the-air’ reducing the need to visit a dealer. Additionally, an embedded data connection means customers have access to the latest maps, apps and vehicle software modules with updates scheduled via the touchscreen at a time to suit them.
Streaming music and media has never been simpler. Spotify is integrated directly within the infotainment menu while there’s Bluetooth connectivity for two phones at once.
The Driving Experience
The experience inside the Range Rover Velar, say the company, is now an even calmer experience thanks to the addition of Active Road Noise Cancellation. This intelligent technology works like a pair of high-end noise cancellation headphones, constantly monitoring vibrations from the road surface and calculating the opposite phase sound wave needed to remove the noise heard by the occupants. The effect is subtle, but the minimum reduction of 4 decibels ensures an even more refined and calming interior space. Air in the Velar, we are told, is cleaner than the air outside.
Enhancements on some variants include a black contrast roof and matching 20-inch black alloy wheels, for that sophisticated kerb-side presence. The ‘junior’ Range Rover models have proved to be immensely popular where the full blown and very expensive ‘real thing’ is not needed.
By Geoff Maxted