Land Rover brought the Range Rover Velar to New York for its North American launch, following its debut at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. Positioned in the admittedly narrow space between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, the Velar is a clean sheet design based on the new Lightweight Aluminum Architecture and the most road-oriented Land Rover model to date — since it shares bones with the outstanding Jaguar F-Pace, we expect the Velar to live up to its billing.
This doesn't mean that the Velar won't have off-road chops (once off-road tires are fitted), but the new model is aimed squarely at performance SUVs and crossovers from Team Germany, which have been multiplying at a faster rate than models from Land Rover's own lineup. The Velar aims to be an agile performer — the new SUV will feature a double-wishbone front suspension up front and an integral link suspension in the rear for tackling corners — but it will also strive for off-roadability with an available four-corner air suspension that will offer a maximum ground clearance of 9.9 inches and a maximum wading depth of 25.6 inches.
When the Velar goes on sale late this summer, expect to see three engines on the menu: A 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder good for 247 hp is the base engine, available in four trim levels starting at $50,895. The middle engine in the lineup is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel producing 180 hp, offered in three trim levels starting at $57,195.