At launch, the new BMW X3 M40i, the first of its kind, it will already have several competitors. The Audi SQ5, Mercedes-AMG GLC43 and the Porsche Macan S come to mind. However, there will also be a new one and one that’s sort of odd — the Range Rover Velar.
The newest car from Jaguar/Land Rover is also the sportiest car Land Rover has ever made. The Range Rover Velar is actually not built on a Land Rover or Range Rover platform, but Jaguar one. The Velar is built on the Jaguar F-Pace, which means it’s built with extensive uses of aluminum and lightweight materials. So it’s significantly lighter than the Range Rover Sport. This means it’s a sharper, lighter and more dynamic Range Rover and one that handles more like the F-Pace than anything off-road based.
Now that reviews of the new Range Rover Velar are surfacing, we’re learning that this is the more dynamic car to come from Range Rover, possibly ever. It feels more rear-driven than anything else and can seriously hang with sportier competitors. While it won’t be the sharpest car on the road, it should be able to hang with cars like the BMW X3 M40i.
But let’s be real about these cars’ customers. They aren’t buying these sorta sporty SUVs to kill twisty switchback roads. They buy these cars to have the space, luxury and technology they want and need but also some speed and power. In that regard, the Range Rover Velar is a very impressive car.
From the outside, it looks very good. All of Range Rover’s products look great but this new Velar is the best looking of them. It’s simple and modern but sharp and upscale. What’s interesting is it’s smaller than the Range Rover Sport, though larger than the Evoque, yet it can rock 22″ wheels with ease. There’s a flamboyance to the Velar that’s impressive considering how simple it looks. It’s a very good design.
But its exterior design pales in comparison to the interior. The cabin of the Velar is truly pretty. It’s filled with sumptuous leather, clean lines and modern design touches. The infotainment system is by far the most interesting aspect of the interior. With two touchscreens, one just ahead of the shift dial and a second one as the traditional screen in the dash, which flips up toward the driver when the car starts. They both look really slick and really cool but we’re hoping they aren’t as distracting as they look.
It’s not cheap, though. To give the Velar enough poke to hang with the BMW X3 M40i, you have to pay $64,000. That gets you a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 with 380 hp, an eight-speed auto and a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds. So while it’s a few thousand dollars more, it has a bit more power and can get to 60 mph in around the same time as the X3 M40i. How will the new Range Rover Velar and BMW X3 M40i compete when the finally hit American shores.