► Spy shots of the Range Rover ‘Velar’
► New model is a Range Rover coupe
► Aimed at X6, GLE, on sale 2017
Range Rover’s slinky coupe-alike crossover has resurfaced cold-weather testing in Sweden, with its sloping roofline still partially disguised. Based on the Jaguar F-Pace, it’s designed to slot between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.
Codenamed L560, it will be the fourth addition to the current Range Rover family. Internally, it’s reputedly referred to as the 'Velar' by JLR suits – in a nod to the original Spen King-era 'Velar' three-door Range Rover. Jaguar Land Rover also submitted a patent application for the Velar name earlier this year, although it's not yet clear if this is the intended name for the production model.
The Velar is an incremental model for Land Rover, reflecting the rising fortunes in Solihull as the world laps up more and more crossovers and SUVs. It's also a car that will pitch Range Rover headlong into the sporty soft-roader segment, challenging the likes of the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Traditionalists, look away now...
Range Rover Sport Coupe, aka Velar: here in 2017
Yes, you read that right. This car is at a more advanced stage of development than you might think. The new Land Rover Discovery is next in the queue, and pegged to be revealed in autumn 2016 at the Paris motor show – but this sportier, slinkier SUV is next up with a likely debut in spring 2017.
UK dealers are poised to start selling the newcomer in mid to late 2017. Its price is likely to surpass £60,000 and push way towards six figures in top-end spec. There's money in them there sporty, posh mud-pluggers.
This prototype was spotted at the Nürburgring, too, suggesting Land Rover’s putting in the time required to make sure the Velar will pack a suitably sporting edge – which will allow it to better rival the German offerings.
But the Land Rover L560 won't go off-road, will it?
Surely not, if the typical market profile of the average X6 or GLE owner is anything to go by. But, being a Land Rover, it will have to have decent go-anywhere ability baked in from the outset. Those Jag F-Pace underpinnings mean it'll be based on the group's latest aluminium architecture, with a suite of six- and eight-cylinder petrol and diesel engines to provide the power to all four wheels.
Don't forget the in-house Ingenium engine range will soon spawn straight six motors, to replace the ageing, Ford-related V6 motors. Needless to say, a nutty SVR performance derivative is a dead cert, likely toting more than 500bhp.
The new British-built six-cylinder Ingenium engines, hailing from the state-of-the-art factory in Wolverhampton, are due in late 2017. CAR can reveal the following details:
- Launch date Late 2017
- Fueling Direct injection, petrol and diesel
- Capacity 3.0-litre straight six
- Petrol power outputs 300/400/500bhp
- Diesel power outputs 275/335/400bhp
Equally, the range could be stretched downwards to include four-pot engines like those found in the F-Pace, should the market – or a global recession – demand it.
This is a Range Rover aimed squarely at road use and street-side posing. Don't expect a seven-seat version, as with the Range Sport. It's an expression of just how luxury and road-biased the brand can go. If you thought the Evoque was radical, wait until you see the Velar, say insiders.
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