Jaguar Land Rover unveiled the fourth member of the Range Rover group of vehicles, as it introduced the Velar, a sleek 5-seater SUV – sized between its popular Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport – at a glitzy event in central London on Wednesday.
Gerry McGovern, design director at Land Rover said that the vehicle, distinctive by its “clean reductive design” was another step in the “transformational journey” of Land Rover, and hailed those involved in the development of the vehicle including Ratan Tata who he said had been a “passionate advocate” of the car from the moment he saw it.”
The Velar, which went on sale from Wednesday evening, will be produced at JLR’s Solihull manufacturing plant, in the U.K., with full production set to commence in coming weeks and deliveries beginning with the U.K. and Europe over the summer.
CEO Dr. Ralf Speth stressed the Tata Motors’ unit’s commitment to Britain. “Our heart, soul and headquarters will always be in the U.K.,” he said on Wednesday, ahead of the event.
While JLR does not provide estimates on the numbers it hopes to sell, it expects sales to be spread evenly across its markets.
IHS Global Insight estimates that the company could sell about 51,000 Velars a year at its peak in 2019, a sizable figure though below the Range Rover Evoque that has been selling more than 1,00,000 vehicles annually since 2012, and is expected to keep doing so at least until the updated model.
“We expect it to sell well,” said IHS Global Insight’s Ian Fletcher, noting the price point at which the Velar sits, starting at just under £45,000, which combined with the high level of technology available in the car, and the on-road focus was likely to make it attractive, including to those who had previously opted for either the Sport or the Evoque.
“I think that what we are seeing is a further evolution of where Land Rover sees the Range Rover brand.”
‘Touch Pro Duo’
Velar, derived from the Latin word for “to cover,” refers to a code name used on original Range Rovers in the 1960s.
Its notable features include retractable door handles, and rear LED light clusters that give the vehicle a particularly sleek appearance, while the interior houses a new “Touch Pro Duo” infotainment system with two high-definition touch screens.