The Range Rover Velar is the fourth model in the ‘Range’ family, and it’s likely to become the most popular like the Evoque.
You know Jaguar Land Rover’s Board of Directors knew Gerry McGovern (Chief Design Officer, Land Rover) and his team had another winner on their hands with the new Range Rover Velar, purely for the fact they didn’t even bother building a concept car, instead, going straight from clay model to series production.
Funny thing is, no one seems to be able to properly prove the precise origin of the model name itself, despite the official company line stating Velar is derived from the Latin ‘Velaris’, meaning to veil or cover, which became the codename given to early prototypes of the first Range Rover in the late ’60s in order to throw off rival carmakers and press alike.
McGovern likes to recount a less intriguing story, in which the under-resourced development team of the day, simply didn’t have enough letters to make up the words ‘Range Rover’ for all 26 prototypes running around. Either way, while the mystery is likely to remain unsolved for a while yet, the end result is a genuinely historic model name that also has a certain up-market ring about it.
When Land Rover revealed Velar to the world for the first time at the London Design Museum in March, social media channels like Facebook went into viral meltdown. We know that because CarAdvice posted some of the first pics of the vehicle, and in less than 24 hours, over 13.5 million people had taken a peek.
In photographs it looks simply stunning, but in the metal, it’s like nothing else you’ve ever seen before; a pure head-turner from the ground up. Up close, it’s hard to take your eyes of it, appearing more like a perfectly proportioned concept vehicle, too good to be a production series model.
But truth be told, Velar was nearly five years in the making. A careful collaboration between equally passionate design and engineering teams committed to Land Rover’s proven design strategy based around modernism and reductionism.
It started with Evoque around six years ago, which not only went on to become a global success, but a vehicle credited with saving the entire Land Rover brand. But even McGovern calls Velar the ‘greatest demonstration of modernity thus far’.
One of the standout things about the design of Velar is the really long, elegant wheelbase against what is a relatively long vehicle for its overall size. But it still looks beautifully planted.
And although it sits above Evoque and under Range Rover Sport, it’s not a smaller version of one, or a bigger version of the other, it’s got its own unique personality and character that might seem worlds apart from its siblings.