One glance at the all-new Range Rover Velar, and it’s clear Land Rover is previewing an evolved design language destined for the wider line-up.
Chief Design Director at Land Rover, Gerry McGovern, talks about filling the ‘white space’ between Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport – but he also talks about a process of ‘reductionism’, which he says, “is a discipline faithful to the original Range Rover, but enabled by the very latest thinking in design, precision engineering and technology.”
Features of the exterior include super-slim Matrix-Laser LED headlights, flush deployable door handles and burnished, copper-coloured detailing.
There’s a new, state-of-the-art Touch Pro Duo infotainment system in the centre of the cabin that does away with almost all the usual switchgear. In its place are two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens, complete with two multifunctional rotary dials, which mirror the minimalist approach to the Velar’s exterior design.
On SE models and above, there’s a 12.3-inch virtual instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with four visual themes, including a full-screen 3D navigation display.
Key information such as speed, navigation instructions and active safety system warnings can also be displayed using the latest-generation full-colour head-up display. But on the Velar, the virtual images projected onto the windscreen appear to hover a couple of metres in front of the driver.
Moreover, the steering wheel features capacitive switches, which allow the driver to program specific functions without removing hands from the wheel.
The Velar also offers a Premium Textile sustainable interior alongside the more traditional leather upholstery. Developed with Danish fabric specialist Kvadrat, this unique textile combines a highly durable wool-blend fabric with a technical suede cloth made from recycled materials included plastic bottles.
It’s an interior (in terms of colour and materials) that’s like no other we’ve seen in a Range Rover. It’s also industry leading, according to Amy Frascella, Chief Designer Colour and Materials at Land Rover.
“With the Velar, we wanted to challenge the traditional conventions on luxury materials. When we began designing and developing materials for Velar three years ago, we began to see a shift in the customer landscape. People are focused on wellbeing, sustainability and provenance of materials, as well as how these things are made,” Frascella says.
“Beauty and functionality – all these things are important to them, so our collaboration with Kvadrat, Europe’s leading manufacturer of premium materials, was a perfect fit for Range Rover.”
“These days, designers of automotive cabins look to the likes of furniture, fashion, performance sports and consumer electronics, and Kvadrat’s textiles are used by many high-end furniture brands, and we wanted to bring some of this premium tailoring into the Velar’s cockpit – because furniture can be just like car seats.”
“But it was more than just about new materials; it was about moving the Range Rover DNA forward. This is a new Range Rover for a new customer. And when you look and feel the materials on the Velar from any angle (inside and out), every single element on the vehicle is speaking the same language.”