There used to be one Range Rover. Now, there’s one whole range of Range Rovers, from the Range Rover to the chic little Evoque. Where does the latest RR, the Velar, sit in this family? According to Jaguar Land Rover, the Velar was designed to fill “the white space” between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, and that it’s a “new type of Range Rover for a new type of customer.”

That customer is one who cares about style more than the Range Rover’s undoubted go-anywhere off-road ability. Before you snigger, who actually goes off tarmac in their luxury SUVs anyway? It seems like the only bukits these big and blingy 4x4s climb are Bukit Damansara and Bukit Bandaraya, so the Velar should prove to be popular.

It’s unmistakably a modern Land Rover product, but the 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.

Headlining details include Matrix-Laser LED headlights, and cool flush deployable door handles, a Range Rover-first that has since gone on the second-generation Evoque. The latter emphasises the Velar’s reductive, sculptured form and contributes to the low drag coefficient of Cd 0.32. Large alloys – those you see here are 21-inchers – enhance the Velar’s presence.

The Velar was first offered here with the P250 powertrain, which consists of an Ingenium 2.0 litre turbo-four with 250 PS and 365 Nm of torque from 1,200 to 4,500 rpm, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The P250 is good for 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 217 km/h.

This is the range-topping Velar P380 R-Dynamic, introduced here late last year. Under the bonnet is a 3.0 litre supercharged V6 petrol engine that serves up 380 PS and 450 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm. The six-pot is paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive – the latter features LR’s Intelligent Driveline Dynamics and Terrain Response systems. The century sprint is done in just 5.7 seconds, and top speed is capped at 250 km/h.

Besides the extra performance over the P250, the P380 comes with four-corner air suspension that allows the SUV’s ride height to move by up to 50 mm to make ingress/egress or cargo loading easier. The system auto lowers the Velar by 10 mm at speeds above 105 km/h to reduce aerodynamic drag.

As for kit, besides the Matrix LED eyes and 21-inch rollers mentioned above, the Velar P380 comes with a hands-free powered tailgate and the sporty R-Dynamic styling kit, which consists of a bolder front bumper, twin chrome exhaust finishers and R-Dynamic badging.

Inside, you’ll find the InControl Navigation Pro infotainment system with Touch Pro Duo. The latter employs two 10-inch touchscreens, which are integrated seamlessly behind a glass-like surface to remain hidden until lit. That’s the best example of the reductive approach at work in the cabin. The other dashboard display is a 12.3-inch unit for the Interactive Driver Display in the instrument cluster.

Other goodies include 10-way powered seats (memory for driver), ambient lighting, an 825-watt, 17-speaker Meridian sound system, dual-zone climate control, Intelligent High Beam Assist, Morzine headliner, head-up display, Windsor leather upholstery (the dashboard is now leather-lined) and a sunroof.

Safety-wise, it’s as per the P250. A plus for the P380 R-Dynamic is the inclusion of Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Emergency Braking system. The latter operates at speeds between 10 to 160 km/h; if the radar detects an imminent collision, it will sound an audible alert to the driver and, if the driver doesn’t take any avoiding action, the vehicle will automatically brake in order to prevent or make the collision less severe.

The Range Rover Velar P380 R-Dynamic is priced at RM722,787 (excluding road tax, registration and insurance), and comes with a five-year warranty, five years of free service and three years roadside assistance. That’s around RM135k more than the P250 R-Dynamic. No matter which powertrain, the Velar is quite a sight, even in the luxury car-dense bukits mentioned above.


GALLERY: Range Rover Velar P380 R-Dynamic