Range Rover took the covers off its sleekest, most stylish and urbanised off-roader yet, the Velar, at a glittering reveal in the London Design Museum this week.
In front a star-studded guest list that included supermodels, Hollywood heart throbs, soccer stars, musicians and design aficionados, Land Rover's creative director, Gerry McGovern, hailed the Velar the most avant garde Range Rover model ever created.
Its stunning exterior design features highlights such as door handles that retract into the body, brushed copper highlights and slimline headlights that can house laser-powered high beams.
Minimal, sustainable, comfortable
But it is the Velar's minimalist interior design that sets new standards in terms of technology, comfort and sustainability. The dashboard has virtually no buttons with all the controls now housed within two 10-inch digital displays – a top-mounted one that flips-out from the dash for sat nav, audio and phone functions while the flush screen in the lower section controls ventilation and vehicle settings. Both can configured to personal tastes like a smartphone while some functions – like the air conditioning – can be turned-on by remote control through a specific app on your mobile device.
In the top-grade models, the Velar is the first car to feature a high-grade sustainable material with a mix of wool and artificial suede produced through recycled plastic that Land Rover says will be offered as an alternative to its best leather. The material has been developed in conjunction with Europe's leading textile manufacturer, Kvadrat.
The Velar is the fourth model line within the Range Rover family, slotting in between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport in terms of size, performance and price.
It will be offered in two distinctive styles – a more luxury-focused version simply called Velar and a sportier Velar R-Dynamic – with a choice of six different engines, made up of four 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo diesel and petrol variants and a pair of V6s in either petrol or diesel form.
All models offered by Land Rover in Australia (which consists of around 50 individual variants) will have an eight-speed automatic transmission and an advanced new all-wheel drive system that ensures the Velar retains some of the brand's signature off-road capabilities.
The Range Rover Velar is due to arrive in Australia before the end of the year with prices starting at $70,300 (plus on-road costs) and topping out at $167,300 (plus on-road costs) for the special First Edition model.