By Rich Monetti
If you like mucking it up on off-road adventures, having an SUV with precision features is a necessity. But real life also demands that a vehicle allows the driver to roll up in style and comfort when the roads more traveled lay ahead. So with those competing dualities in mind, Land Rover delivers the crossover in the form of the New Range Rover Velar, SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition.
“We’ve created an SUV that strikes a brilliant balance between go-anywhere practicality, dynamic performance and relaxing comfort—it truly is an SUV for any occasion,” says Michael Van Der Sande, Managing Director, Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations.
Winning the World Car Design of the Year at the 2018 World Car Awards, love at first sight begins with a Satin Byron Blue finish—a metallic paint shade from Special Vehicle Operations’ Premium Palette range. The only Velar available in this option, the standard Narvik Black roof plays contrast to perfection.
On the fringes, the new Range Rover’s bonnet and tailgate calligraphy comes with a knurled finish and says sophistication as soon as the vehicle’s call letters come into view. The unique trim boundaries also signify the designer’s reductive approach to optimize the Velar’s compact proportions and distinctive silhouette.
An upgraded grille with lower side moldings and a revised rear bumper that features integrated quad exhaust finishers are hallmarks of this new design. In turn, the space age thrust—and a sleek exterior designed to slice through the air—propels a new front bumper that brings the Velar to the forefront of any roadway.
An appreciation for the vehicle’s many features don’t only amount to being skin deep. A larger air intake on the front end helps oxygenate the V8 supercharged engine and also cools the cutting-edge braking system.
The Velar’s forged aluminum wheels get a similar depth from the designers. Commanding the road at 21 inches standard, or optionally at 22 inches with sparkling silver finish, the foursome weighs the same as the 20-inch wheels. Thus, the additional radius accommodates larger brakes and returns a better grip on the road.
The difference will surely be felt in the trenches, too, as high performance off-road driving always runs brakes hot. In response, the system dissipates heat and your experience can still sizzle with the increased stopping power. Even so, upgraded anti-roll bars kick in during hard cornering, and the revised Continuously Variable Dampers work in combination with firmer air springs to balance the chassis.
With a 5.0-liter V8 engine also in tow, the all-wheel drive upgrades are designed to carry the load. Using a transfer box, the advanced Intelligent Driveline Dynamics system precisely and imperceptibly distributes engine torque to suit the terrain.
The calibrated eight-speed Quickshift transmission clocks in rather quickly as you’re off at 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. An upper limit of 170 mph, the Velar’s Speed-sensitive Electric Power Assisted Steering delivers precise and direct control as standard and opens the road as the scenery speeds by. Velar also can do the highway flyby one better via more bespoke options—offering enhanced steering, suspension and transmission settings in Dynamic Mode.
Not content to stop at the visuals, the driver can sound the part too. Velar’s Variable Active Exhaust System optimizes the exhaust note and returns an unmistakable V8 rumble. Of course, its surface appeal again goes beyond skin deep. The active exhaust system is 15 lbs lighter than the standard design and increased gas flow returns even more kick as the decibels go by and hit the mark.
The interior is also on target and starts with twin-stitched, perforated and quilted Windsor leather. Ebony, Cirrus, Vintage Tan and Pimento highlight the SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition’s luxurious color options in a sensory overload. 20-way adjustable heated and cooled front seats with memory and massage functions come standard and satiate the ride.
The ultimate satisfaction then settles in at the controls. The sports steering wheel features a specially contoured rim, coinciding with tactile aluminum gear shift paddles to buckle the driver in. The Velar’s Touch Pro Duo infotainment system is then ready to engage, while a 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display details the digital readout. Velar’s “SUV for any occasion” assurance is now ready to roll.
That said, the journey would best proceed with a certainty that has served the New York/New Jersey area for almost 60 years. Ray Catena currently maintains 20 dealerships and service centers and operates from the core belief that the customer is always first. Starting from humble beginnings in 1961 with a used car lot in Kearny, NJ, Mr. Catena feels that anyone who enters one of his showrooms should experience a level of service and commitment like no other.
The auto group currently has Range Rovers for sale at two esteemed New Jersey locations. Visit Ray Catena Land Rover in Edison, NJ and Land Rover in Marlboro, NJ today for more information.
2020 Range Rover Velar
MSRP: From $56,300
MPG: Up to 21 city / 27 highway
Horsepower: 247 to 550 hp
Engine: 2.0 L 4-cylinder, 3.0 L V6, 5.0 L V8
Available at Ray Catena