Range Rover Velar
The Range Rover Velar has been listed on Land Rover India’s website, hinting at a launch in the near future. It will either make its way into the country by the end of this year or can make its debut at the 2018 Auto Expo with prices ranging between Rs 75 lakh and Rs 1 crore. Four variants of the Velar – Velar, Velar S, Velar SE and Velar HSE have been listed on the website.
The crossover draws its name from the original Range Rover prototypes and slots in between the Evoque and the Sport in the British brand’s portfolio. Notable features include LED headlamps and taillamps, a 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster, two 10-inch screens on the centre console and a 23-speaker Meridian sound system.
The Velar has two diesel engine options, D180 and D300, and one petrol engine option, P250, on offer. While the D180 is a 2.0-litre diesel engine which produces 180PS and 430 Nm, the D300 is a 3.0-litre diesel engine which churns out 300PS and 700 Nm. The P250 petrol engine is a 2.0-litre unit that produces 250PS of power and 365 Nm of torque. All the engines are coupled to the same 8-speed automatic transmission that powers all four wheels.
We’re in the range-topping Velar R-Dynamic HSE P380, which comes in at a cool £72,000. The Velar range starts at just under £45,000, however, undercutting the larger Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.
As we wait on the start line, the Velar’s ultra contemporary and stylish cabin is a sanctuary of peace and quiet. As the marshal waves us on, the Velar leaps forward; up front is Jaguar Land Rover’s glorious 3.0-litre supercharged V6 petrol engine, pumping out 375bhp.
With all-wheel drive the Velar absolutely rockets down the tree-lined avenue and before we know it, we are jinxing right, a short squirt on the throttle and into ‘Crossroads’. Just seconds later we’re blasting past his Lordship’s house, with the crowd-lined strip watching intently. The Velar’s turn of speed is quite extraordinary, and it’s helped along by a slick eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox.
Under the bridge and now it’s time to think about braking for the infamous Molecomb corner. It’s a sharp left, but it’s made worse by the fact it’s off-camber and often very dirty. But even when our driver hits the anchors, the Velar feels planted and takes the tricky turn with ease. And then it’s back on the gas and up to Flint Wall, kink right, back into the trees, flash out into daylight for a second before plunging back into the forest. From here it’s throttle pinned to the very top.