This is the new Range Rover Velar. The latest Range Rover’s reason for existence might not be crystal clear, so we’ll start with that. Jaguar Land Rover says that the Velar was designed to fill “the white space” between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, and that it’s a “new type of Range Rover for a new type of customer.” It brings a new dimension of glamour and elegance to the Range Rover family, the company says.

Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern tells Autocar that the Velar is “the most car-like Range Rover we’ve done so far, but just as capable.” They’re going after the Porsche Macan with this road-biased one (for Land Rover standards), which shares size and tech with the Jaguar F-Pace. Style and features are main selling points. Of course, one can argue that rich folk these days buy Range Rovers without using an inch of its off-road capabilities.

It is unmistakably a modern Land Rover product, but the Range Rover Velar is defined by what JLR calls a “visually reductive approach” and attention to detail. The designers highlight the SUV’s visual balance, powerful proportions, generous 2,874 mm wheelbase (Evoque 2,660 mm, RR Sport 2,923 mm) and taut tapered lines of the rear. Large alloys – those you see here are 22-inch items – enhance the Velar’s presence. No disputing the presence of this one – see the video below.

Headlining details include full LED headlights (the most slender ever to appear on a production Land Rover, segment-first Matrix-Laser LED headlights available) and the flush deployable door handles, a Range Rover-first. The latter emphasises the Velar’s reductive, sculptured form and contributes to the low drag coefficient of Cd 0.32 – this is the most aerodynamic Land Rover ever.

Inside, the Velar doesn’t depart from the LR style template, but that “reduction” approach is clear, with switches being kept to an absolute minimum. The centrepiece is the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system featuring two 10-inch touchscreens integrated seamlessly behind “secret-until-lit” surfaces. They are complemented by two rotary controllers and a row of capacitive switches. The system is powered by an Intel quad-core processor and a high-speed 60GB solid-state drive.

The thin capacitive polycarbonate screens also control Terrain Response, which eliminates the traditional dial and hard buttons. Besides a clean look, it creates extra space in the centre console. The rotary transmission controller rises silently from the centre console on start-up.

The instrument panel can be two analogue dials and MID in between, or a 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display digital panel, depending on trim level. There’s also a full-colour head-up display and capacitive steering wheel switches that benefit from situation-based options.

Versatility is not forgotten. Boot volume is 632 litres, expandable to 1,731 litres. The 40:20:40 rear seats feature a ski-flap, and there are remote seat release levers and a gesture-controlled (kick) power tailgate option. The Activity Key option – a waterproof, shockproof wristband with integrated transponder – allows customers to enjoy outdoor pursuits without having to carry the standard key fob.

Unique in the segment, the Velar offers a sustainable, premium textile seat material as an alternative to leather. The Dapple Grey material was developed together with Kvadrat, Europe’s leading manufacturer of high-quality design textiles, and is complemented with Suedecloth inserts in Ebony or Light Oyster. Of course, Windsor Leather is available, along with 17- and 23-speaker Meridian audio systems.

Four-cylinder Ingenium 2.0L diesels are offered in 180 PS and 240 PS variants. They are joined by the new 2.0L four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine which delivers 250 PS and 0-100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds. A 300 PS version of this engine will join the Velar range later in 2017. There’s also a 3.0L V6 diesel (300 PS/700 Nm) and 380 PS supercharged 3.0L V6 petrol. The latter has a “unique soundtrack” and a 0-100 km/h time of 5.7 seconds.

All engines are matched to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive with Intelligent Driveline Dynamics. The Velar features four-corner air suspension (available on six-pot models), class-leading ground clearance of up to 251 mm (213 mm with coil springs), wading depth of up to 650 mm (600 mm with coil springs) and Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 and All Terrain Progress Control. The latter two are optional.

The Velar and Velar R-Dynamic core range comprises Standard, S, SE or HSE specifications. Customers can also specify Black and Luxury Exterior Packs.

There’s a First Edition that will be available worldwide, strictly for one model year only. Even more luxurious than the HSE spec, it’s powered solely by the 3.0 litre V6 petrol and diesel engines and features many extra features as standard, including full extended leather interior trim to complement the perforated Windsor leather seats, 1,600W Meridian Signature Sound System, Matrix-Laser LED headlights and 22-inch Split-Spoke wheels with diamond-turned finish.

Exterior paint colours for the First Edition are Corris Grey, Silicon Silver, and Flux Silver – a unique satin finish exclusive to the First Edition – which will be hand-sprayed at JLR Special Vehicle Operations’ Oxford Road Technical Centre in the UK.

The Range Rover Velar will be produced at the company’s Solihull factory in the UK. It goes on sale in July.