The new Range Rover Velar looks a convincing car, but is its arrival to plug a gap in Land Rover’s Range Rover range, or to push the whole range upmarket?
The new Range Rover Velar has been revealed in Geneva, and a very nice car it looks, perfect for filling the gap Land Rover has between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. Or is it?
On the face of it, the Velar is a way to span the gap between the starting price of the Evoque (just over £30k) and that of the Sport (£60k) with an entry price to the Velar experience of £45,000. Perfect symmetry in pricing for the Range Rover range, especially when you realise the full fat Range Rover starts at £75,000.
But look a bit more carefully, and you’ll discover that the Velar is actually a ‘sporty’ Range Rover Sport, similar in size, more dynamic and more road biased thanks to its underpinnings borrowed from the Jaguar F-Pace.
So won’t the Velar simply steal Range Rover Sport sales rather than carving a niche of its own?
That’s entirely possible, and when you look at specs and pricing you start to realise the Velar may have a perfectly pitched entry price, but to get a Velar you actually want you have to spend a great deal more than £45k. In fact, probably twice as much.
If you want to spec up a Range Rover Velar R-Dynamic with all the bits you want and with a six-cylinder engine you can easily be pushing £90k (and more).
In fact, the Velar First Edition will cost you £83,350 for the diesel and £85,450 for the petrol, before extras. That’s the same sort of money you pay for a Range Rover Sport Autobiography Dynamic with the 5.0 litre Supercharged engine.
So rather than being an addition to the Range Rover range, hunting for buyers in a new price bracket, the Velar looks to us like it’s pitching at exactly the same 90% of Sport buyers who never take their cars off-road seriously.
That leaves room, it seems to us, to push the Range Rover Sport in to territory that will allow it to compete with cars like the new Lamborghini Urus, and push the full fat Range Rover upmarket to tackle the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls Royce SUV head on.
Make sense? Or is the Velar really just a gap filling car for Land Rover?