Cars like this come once in a generation, although to be honest the last I remember of such clever and intelligent execution came in the late 1990s. This car was the original Audi TT that Makes waves in almost every single discipline in the business. It was also quite desirable. Now here is the new Range Rover Velar, unveiled last night by design director Gerry McGovern in a premiere of bells and whistles – accompanied by an orchestra and husky tones by Damian Lewis – at the new Design Museum in London. It will also make waves that will be washed on the shores of international research offices for years. It is also – I am quite sure of this – stirring something in you as well. You are right to want one.
Velar is the fourth distinct Range Rover model, fitting into the range between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. If this is not enough to put it in your head, think Jaguar F-Pace. Velar is based on the same basic aluminum components as its sister car, as is common in the industry these days; Just one of the revolutions that the TT launched nearly 20 years ago.
Now forget the F-Pace. Velar is both familiar and totally new, a root and a branch of the reinvention of Range Rover-Ness that eternally banishes the notion that SUVs can not be beautiful.
Images do not do it justice; It has a combination of modernist manners, architectural discipline and a sense of precision that we came to consider as everyday through the elegance of the tiny computers we carry in our pockets. And that’s just the right size; He could say Range Rover on the front, but there is nothing excessive about his presence.
And the story goes on inside. All this is a very new territory. The dashboard almost completely bans the notion that the interior of cars should look like inside a machine. Again, he shares a philosophy with smart phones – Apple in particular – in understanding the value of reductiveism. There is a familiar tablet screen in the middle, although it is adjustable.
Below there is another screen, although it does not look like it, appearing instead of being part of the internal architecture of the car. It’s a deep puddle of darkness until you wake it up, like the screen on your iPhone. When you do, it works in conjunction with the top screen (you can literally slide information from one screen to another), controlling all aspects of the car.
It is a kind of connectivity that is not controlled by traditional steering column stems and transmission controller. As a result, the Velar design team was able to reduce the number of physical dashboard controls to only two large rotating dials and a smaller one under the lower display. I’m sure it was not deliberate, but the dominant graphic of TT’s original interior were the two luminous circles through which fresh air entered the cabin.
And that does not stop there. Velar customers will be able to specify a fabric interior, not a cheap alternative to leather – it will cost the same as the premium leather option – but as a design choice. Developed in collaboration with Swedish specialists in the technical fabric Kvadrat, the “premium textile” option is a major departure for a luxury car manufacturer and absolutely convincing. It offers such a cool cool feeling, it makes you wonder why leather has become the only option for high-end car interiors. There are two fabrics in the seats, a wool blend specially created for automotive applications and a “suedecloth” contrast made from recycled materials. Again, this will not be the last you see high-end fabric interiors.
Two tone is an option from the outside where there are a variety of finishes, including. You will have to decide for yourself, but the Silver Flux bronze finish combined with a shiny black killer glass is the winner for me, especially on the huge predictable 22in rim options. The details abound outside, again all susceptible of being copied by others; Flush-flush door handles add only to Velar’s furtive sophistication; The burnished copper trim elements are bling for sure but absolutely not left; And while the standard LED (and optional laser headlights) are not a first, the extent to which their comparatively narrow openings have been exploited to improve the design of the car is.
Engines? The Jaguar Land Rover extended price, from four-cylinder supercharged six-cylinder petrol engines are all available, just like the air suspension. Remarkably, the Velar is going on sale in July this year and the configurator is online now. This kind of speed is definitely a departure from the TT almost two decades ago. We first saw that as a concept car and had to wait Audi to go ahead and build it. The Velar looks just like a concept car, but you can go ahead and order a tomorrow. I suspect that a lot of people are going to do exactly that.