If Saarinen and Fukusawa are the kinds of names that are often referenced in your daily conversation then you might want to take a hard look at the Rang Rover Velar. The new mid-size entry is every bit as luxurious as you would expect a Range Rover product to be, but with extensive interior and exterior refinements that set the course for a more design-forward future for their flagship badge.
Upon first glance, the Velar looks like a Range Rover from the future with its pop-out door handles that retract to create a flush surface an an interior that's ultra-minimal yet beautifully textured. Hit the start button and that stark black center console with its dual ten-inch touchscreens that come to life with what is easily one of the best looking infotainment systems out there.
Called the Touch Pro Duo, the system's two screens display a slick user interface that lets you easily adjust multiple features at once and it helps dramatically reduce the number of buttons, a problem that has spun out of control for many car companies. This idea extends to the steering wheel, which has buttons that hide their functionality until they're activated and the optional 12.3" interactive driver display puts all your maps and preferred information in your line of sight.
The interior also addresses an automotive future that is less reliant on leathers and more open to alternative textile companies such as Kvadrat, a renowned Scandinavian company who have created a wool blend and suedecloth alternative that we personally prefer over the standard leather option. One standout detail is the perforated Union Jack that can be seen on the seats and the Meridian sound system speaker grilles.
Obviously with Land Rover, it's not all about looks and luxurious cabins. The Velar is as capable as they come with real off-road capability and features like a 9.9-inch ground clearance, a 23-degree break over and 30-degree departure angle, and the ability to wade through waters up to 25.5 inches. And you have technologies like Terrain Response, Low Traction Launch, and Hill Descent control to assist you when you're on more difficult terrain.
On the performance side of things, the Velar offers up two 2.0L turbocharged gas and diesel Ingenium engines. The diesel puts out 180 hp while the gas variant produces 247 hp. At the top of the lineup is a 3.0L, 380-hp supercharged V6 that is available in their R-Dynamic trim line, which is capable of a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds.
The Range Rover Velar starts at $49,900 and we think you'd be hard-pressed to find a car that is as beautiful and capable in the mid-size category and though it's definitely taken our attention away from its higher-end siblings, we can't wait to see how this new design language affects the Range Rover lineup going forward.