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Range Rover P250 R-Dynamic: It’s a beauty, but is it beast enough?

The Velar drops your jaws to the floor with the sinfully beautiful design. But are 2 litres of engine block enough?

What Is It?

The Range Rover Velar is the second step in Land Rover’s Range Rover series of ultra-luxury SUVs. The name is a montage to the original Velar from the ’70s. The name has its origin in the Latin word Velare, meaning, to veil or cover. I mean, it has stealth in its name! And stealth is what you won’t get in this luxury barge. Here’s why.

Design


The Velar has to be one of the best designs of not just modern times, but of the entire automotive history. Pondering on the design long enough has me concluding, this simply doesn’t look like a production vehicle. It looks like a design study, a concept. Especially in this shade of white paired with a black roof. The surfaces are flat, the lines are straight, and the elements are simplistic. Though these are ingredients of a boxy, boring vehicle, the blokes at Land Rover have managed to create one of the best designs ever embodied by a vehicle. The squarish raked front flows into a long silhouette, tapering towards the rear. Sleek headlamps house the signature Range Rover DRLs. The bumper looks stretched and flowing towards the sides, and have copper highlighted air dams. The face is unmistakably Range Rover and creates an intimidating presence. The bonnet is high and flat, with clean lines. 

The side profile is long and the car has a tapering effect as if it were fading like a comet. It looks fast even at standstill. The large 7 spoke 20-inch wheels are beautiful as well and add to the stance. The Velar is 4.8m long and has a 2995mm wheelbase. The front wheels are placed at the front corners, but the rear has a pretty long overhang which makes the vehicle look longer than it actually is. A black accenting line running across the length of the car adds to the effect. The rear has a small hunch under the glasshouse, accentuated by sleek taillamps. The effect is the Velar creates an aura for you when on the streets. It exudes style, exclusivity, and power.  It robs every bit of limelight off any luxury vehicle you would generally encounter out there. And unlike the name, the number of looks and second glances, and third glances eventually ending in stares, guarantee no stealth. Was it named for irony, Land Rover? 

And on the inside…


The straight lines and simplicity continue on the inside as well. Step inside, and an amalgam of classic and modern welcomes you. The Velar gets Land Rover’s TouchPro-Duo infotainment system and a digital MID to display other driving information. The in-cabin climate is controlled via another screen underneath the infotainment screen. That screen also lets you control Terrain Response off-roading controls. But the jewel of the entire dashboard has to be the steering wheel. Wrapped in two-tone black and beige leather, it has the infotainment controls and cruise control buttons finished in piano black. It has a good grip, not much feedback though. More on that later. The rear seats are large and offer good support. There is ample legroom as well as headroom, which would keep even tall individuals in the utmost comfort. 

The Drive

Range Rover Velar

Hit the Start/Stop button and the engine comes to life with a growl. Under the long bonnet sits the 2 liter Ingenium petrol engine. It makes 247 Hp and 365 Nm of torque. If those numbers sound familiar, that’s because you find the same engine in a similar tune in the much cheaper and smaller Jaguar XE, the 2020 Evoque and the 2020 Discovery Sport. For a vehicle so pricey and exquisite, I dearly wish it got the higher state of tune to the engine that we find in the F-Type P300 sports car.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the Velar P250 is a slouch by any means. It is brisk and has a claimed 0-97kph time of 7.1 seconds. That’s quick for a car weighing close to 2 tonnes. Put your foot down, and the rear squats and the Velar, with power going to all 4 wheels via an 8-speed auto scampers like an angered beast. It has strong low and mid-range torque that keep things smooth as the revs build. The exhaust note gets loud if you mash the throttle suddenly and that would explain the fuel efficiency figure of 9kmpl during our drive. Drive the Velar with a lighter foot and you could have double-digit efficiency numbers which are respectable.

That being said, it’s safe to say that the Velar is more about luxury and refinement and less about being a driver’s car. The suspension is set up to the softer side and the car wafts about at any road undulation. The low-speed ride is a bit jiggly, but the suspension firms up as the speed build. High-speed stability is excellent and makes the Velar a very capable touring machine. Speaking of capable, the Velar has the Range Rover badge on it, which translates to ‘Great Off-roader’. It comes with Land Rover’s Terrain Response system that allows you to select through different driving modes depending upon the terrain and level of traction. To sum it up, the Velar is an incredibly beautiful car, with respectable power to glide around as you leave a huge crowd in awe in your wake.

Verdict


Range Rover Velar

After spending a week with the Velar, I’ve emerged soaked in the glamour that the Velar brought along with it. It is special from the moment you set your eyes on it. It moves like a magic carpet, looks like a dream and sings like a charging beast. Sure it isn’t sporty to drive, but that is the point. The beauty that is the Range Rover Velar, has an effect on you that makes you appreciate every drive with the calmness and poise it brings to every drive.

Visit the Land Rover India Official Website to know more.

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Kedar Vaidya

An utter car guy, he’s the guy on the keyboard. Driver’s seat is his place for solace. Apart from talking cars and driving, Kedar also spends a fortune on die-cast miniatures of them, especially old American Muscle. He loves to understand his ride fully and once he does, he loves to explore its limits. American Hotrodder David Freighburger is his icon, while he dreams to daily drive a 68′ Dodge Charger some day.

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