Range Rover Velar is the fourth addition to the Range Rover family when it took on the stage for the first time at Geneva this year. Fitting snuggly between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, the Velar is a five seater SUV with a unique body style and hallmark Range Rover credentials. The British carmaker has listed the Velar on their Indian website and rumour has it that it might be launched in the country before the end of this year, with bookings commencing sometime around September. The avant-garde Range Rover (as the carmaker is calling the Velar) is pitted against the likes of the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Here is how it fares against the German adversaries.
Looks and Styling
The Velar with its discrete British styling looks modern compared to the hunky and bulbous German duo. The X6 got a major update two years back while the GLE Coupe is a relatively new car compared to the Bavarian, been introduced just last year. The bold styling of the Velar is unmistakably Range Rover, with sleek LED headlamps around the mesh grille and large air vents making up the fascia. The rear is quirky with modern LED taillights and an integrated exhaust on the raked diffuser complementing the sloping D-Pillar. The X6 doesn’t seem too old still with its updated family face, imposing grille, LED lights, efficient engines, eccentric styling and large body proportions to keep it in the league of the new genre of the niche coupe-SUV body style which it initiated back in 2009. While the GLE Coupe carries the modern Merc design philosophy, the 450 AMG guise has subjective styling.
Interior and Features
The Velar has minimalistic, yet high-quality interiors and is loaded with all the features the British marque has to offer. The seats are 20-way adjustable, with the 825W Meridian sound system and a state-of-art Touch-Pro Duo infotainment system. It also gets smartphone mirroring, four-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof, power tailgate and navigation system. The Velar’s specs also include the Land Rover’s famous Terrain Response system that allows the driver to adjust vehicle settings to suit prevailing surface conditions, with a choice of Eco, Comfort, Grass-Gravel-Snow, Mud-Ruts, Sand, and Dynamic mode.
The X6 is no less opulent with Dakota/Napa leather upholstery, Bang & Olufsen sound system, multifunctional instrument cluster, screens for rear passengers, sensor-actuated tailgate, heads-up display, park assist, and the highly regarded BMW’s iDrive system.
The coupe-SUV from Stuttgart gets a cabin from another Mercedes vehicle, which only means that the GLE Coupe gets the finest of material and equipment for creature comfort. Standard features include climate control, COMMAND infotainment system, flat bottom steering wheel and sporty seats with Artico leather, panoramic sunroof, five transmission mode, 360-degree camera, and AMG lettering all around since this is an AMG-spec car.
Engine and gearbox
Velar will drive in with two diesel and one petrol engine options. Starting with 2.0-litre straight four D180 Ingenium diesel produces 177bhp/430Nm while the 3.0-litre D300 puts out 296bhp/700Nm. The petrol P250 2.0-litre four-pot pushes out 246/365Nm. All the engines come mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The GLE Coupe is available in AMG only now and powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6 engine that produces 362bhp and a massive 516Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via the 4MATIC AWD system and a new nine-speed automatic gearbox. There are five driving modes to choose from to tackle different terrains. The 3.0-litre diesel straight six unit in the X6 produces 313bhp and 650Nm, sending sheer raw power to all four wheels via the eight-speed auto transmission. Both the X6 and GLE Coupe have limited off-road credentials however, compared to the British brute.
When launched in India, the Velar is expected to be priced between Rs 80 lakh and 1.1 Crore. This puts the newcomer in a strategic pricing between the two Germans since the GLE 450 AMG retails at Rs 92.23 lakh while the xDrive40d M Sport trim of the X6 sold in India has a price tag of Rs 1.22 crore. Never before were Indians so spoilt for choice when it came to owning a high performance, stylish SUV.