Airspeed is no longer a problem with Range Rover
Land Rover has evolved from the niche manufacturer to a brand that corresponds to the time spirit. The new Range Rover Velar continues the extraordinary success story.
On entering the Land Rover Design Studios in Gaydon, visitors had to sign the cumeral lenses of their mobile phones and sign a confidentiality statement before they were led into the area designated by the design manager Gerry McGovern as the “most holy of the brand”. Before the official world championship on March 1, no details about the new car should go public.
With the new concept, a circle should close. In 1969, the British manufacturer had sent a series of prototypes under the cover “Velar” on test drive. The word comes from Spanish and means “envelop” or “veil”.
The project from which the very first Range Rover hervorging was subject to strict secrecy. In 2017, the Velar will be back in a contemporary look. The pre-presentation of the model in front of representatives of the press was followed by a similar mystery as almost 50 years ago.
A somewhat pompous introduction to the self-understanding, the history and the current product range of the brand followed a tour of the newly renovated work areas of the designers. Then the Range Rover Velar was first. The visitors were allowed to take a look at it in the courtyard of the design studio.
Brits have remained faithful to the Range Rover
The announcement of a new range-rover model had led to wild speculation in the run-up. However, anyone who had expected this model to follow the vulgar trend towards the SUV Coupé, combining the bullish appearance of an off-road vehicle with the sloping rear of a sports car, was deceived. The British have remained loyal and have taken a step forward.
As is the case with a Range Rover, the Velar radiates a self-confident blend of elegance and elegance. The car is certainly an avant-garde feature: its unusually clear and reduced drawing makes the Velar seem strangely unreal at first sight – like a memory of something that can not have happened at all.
In addition, it makes it the most windy Range Rover ever. The car looks no less futuristic from a distance than from a distance: the brushed silver finish of the demonstration car reminds the surface of a MacBook. The bonnet, front part and fender are decorated with contrasting details of copper.
As with the Tesla, the handles can be completely sunk into the doors and emerge automatically when unlocking. This looks already chic, but should not affect the off-road capabilities of the car. If necessary, it can be driven by up to 65 cm deep water, according to the manufacturer.
Jaguar Land Rover understands the desires
With engines ranging from a 180 hp diesel engine to a V8 petrol engine with 380 hp, the Velar ranks in the brand hierarchy between the compact Range Rover Evoque and the powerful Range Rover Sport. Its price range is between EUR 56,400 and EUR 90,850. For the limited First Edition, even 108,650 euros are called.
At Jaguar Land Rover, it was not without reason that the portfolio was still in place for a completely new model. The company has had some success with their cars lately. It has evolved from a specialist for off-road and particularly robust vehicles to a brand that meets the tastes of the better-off and understands their desires.
In Germany, the number of new registrations rose last year by about 45 percent. In the same period more than 500,000 cars were built in the British plants. For Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, an industry surveyor from the CAR Institute at the University of Duisburg-Essen, this is the greatest success story of the last five years for the automotive industry.
The Velar is equipped with a lot of technology
In times of uncertainty, there is a growing need for security and stability, and Gaydon is more than ready to meet this need. The cars of the brand are massive like English country houses, in their interior the noise of everyday life can be largely hidden. “Calm sanctuary”, chief designer McGovern would say what is best to translate with “quiet place of refuge”.
In Velar, this refuge is equipped with a lot of technology. The entire center console seems to be sensitive to touch, where two high-resolution touch screens are accommodated.
The selection of the materials is also followed by the Zeitgeist: In addition to the classic leather trim, a vegan variant is available. “We have responded to the growing demand,” says Amy Frascella, who is responsible for designing the interiors in the design department of Land Rover.
In the search for suitable fabrics, one had looked around in the fashion sector and among furniture manufacturers and finally landed in Denmark. In cooperation with the textile producer Kvadrat, a set has been created, which reminds of the refined sofas of Italian designers.
There is no electric variant or a hybrid drive
The option of an interior without animal products can not, however, obscure the fact that the best way to deal with natural resources in the development of Velar was not at the top. So you wait in vain for an electric variant or a hybrid drive from Gaydon.
Head designer McGovern has therefore no bad conscience. “Many of our customers have achieved something in their lives and want to reward themselves,” he says. “I can not find anything reprehensible about it.”
In the self-representation of the brand, which preceded the revelation of Velar, there was, incidentally, a reunion with an old acquaintance. Video recordings showed the angular silhouette of the Defender.
After almost 70 years, the production of the original off-road vehicle was discontinued last year because it could no longer meet today’s exhaust gas and safety standards. However, the employees at Land Rover emphasize again and again the central importance of the rustic vehicle in the brand’s coordinate system.
So some things point to the fact that Land Rover will soon bring the Defender back to life. The company would also be badly advised if it did not.