Range Rover Velar
From a mere experimental model to the most popular in the Land Rover/Range Rover line, the Velar has had quite the half-century. And the Velar is still attracting attention and innovation into the 2020s. It’s cury and functional – it’s the Velar.
The Velar may be a relatively new addition to the Land Rover line, but its pre-production actually began nearly 50 years before the first model’s official release. Back in 1969, the folks at Land Rover sought to create, as one retrospective put it, “a two-door off-roader that was better suited for road use than the slow and uncomfortable Series IIA.”
Though the 1969 Velar certainly succeeded in capturing the minds of automotive enthusiasts – as evidenced by the sheer fact that the original is still remembered today – but never brought the vehicle to the mass-market. About 26 of the first Velar plus seven prototypes were made, and the majority of the former survive to this day, seemingly readily available for the flashback article every UK-based and nearly every North America-based specialty publisher writes up on this maverick SUV.
This is not your father’s Land Rover Velar…
But enough of the past – the original Velar belongs to the last century, no matter how far ahead of its time it may have been. Let’s talk the Velars of 2018 and beyond.
Upon introducing the new Velar, company representatives touted their snappy new vehicle as bringing “a new dimension of modernity to the Range Rover family with an abundance of innovative technologies, all making this vehicle a joy to drive and be driven in ... a vehicle of instant desirability.” Quite the far cry from a simple two-door good for on-road and off-, but Land Rover themselves take pride in raising the bar for luxury SUVs.
As evidence that the desire to make the Velar friendly for the unrugged roads of city and suburbia, the Velar is outfitted with a big 10” ground clearance and air suspension.
Positive Land Rover Velar reviews come early and often
With the (re)launch of the Velar, the critical acclaim started early and continued often – and this model continues to be probably the most popular of Land Rover models among critics. In April 2018 at the World Car Awards, this inaugural version of the new Velar took home the “World Car Design of the Year” prize; the company particularly made much of the fact that the Velar had topped two of its main rivals in the segment for the award: the 2018 Lexus LC 500 and the 2018 Volvo XC60.
Automobile specialty review site theManual.com wrote up the new Velar for a North American audience early on and the bon mots there are fairly indicative of the enthusiasm shown by those in-the-know about SUVs. The Manual notes the stylish design – we promise, not one review bypasses this praise – and it’s no coincidence that the Velar is sculpted more along the lines of a sporty coupe, an area in which Land Rover had been surpassed over the years.
And the Manual points out on gladly-welcomed innovation in the Velar: “The Velar is the first Range Rover with seats that are good for the environment — literally. Soft leather comes standard, but buyers can order a sustainable, premium textile upholstery instead.”
The first time the Land Rover Velar was new, mankind was seeking to land astronauts on the moon. A half-century later, innovations in space travel and astronomy are pretty much matched in parallel by Land Rover’s own new technologies. Space-age stuff, indeed.
To keep up on all the latest goodies involved with new and old model Land Rover Velars, keep an eye on this page of mediaLandRover.com!
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