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In Norway, minimalist design reigns. Clean lines and unfussy surfacing abounds, from the weather-beaten farmhouses and modern commercial buildings that dot the landscape, to the Scandinavian furniture and clothing carefully curated inside them. It's all form-follows-function, it's all gorgeous, and it's no accident that none of it distracts from the country's omnipresent scenic vistas.
The same is true inside the Velar's beautifully appointed cabin, where a brand-new infotainment interface, Touch Pro Duo, takes up residence in the center stack. The Intel-quad-core based system features twin 10-inch touchscreen TFT displays, one in the traditional mid-dash location, and the other canted just ahead of the drive selector, with a pair of ringed knobs poking through.
The setup looks impressively simple — almost worryingly so. Land Rover has greatly reduced the amount of switchgear in the cabin, a practice that has become something of a car-designer obsession these days. The result of such approaches always seems to look pleasing, but too often comes with a heavy toll on ergonomics and usability. Fortunately, I'd have a couple of days behind the wheel to suss out whether that's the case with the Velar.
Land Rover's model range continues to spread like kudzu, with this new midsize Velar slotting in between the Evoque and the Sport in its Range Rover family. Based on the same aluminum-intensive platform as the F-Pace crossover from sister brand Jaguar, the Velar nonetheless has a completely different look and feel to it.
Given the Jag's inherent road bias, it might be tempting to view the Velar's off-road credibility with suspicion, especially in view of my tester's rubber-band-like 22-inch 265/45-series tires. But whether climbing up a jagged-rock two-track amid skier gondolas on the side of Strandafjellet (a breathtaking ski mountain in Western Norway) or picking my way through an obstacle course, the Velar revealed it has capabilities to shade all but the most hardcore trail rigs. And at least with air-suspension-equipped models, the Velar also rides a fair bit better than its Leaping Cat sibling.
The aforementioned air suspension, optional locking rear differential and Land Rover's excellent Terrain Response 2 system augment the Velar's capabilities mightily, enabling up to 9.9 inches of ground clearance and a fording depth of 25.6 inches. (The latter is well shy of the top-dog Range Rover's 35.4-inch waders, but it's plenty to live out your Oregon Trail fantasies). Worried you might waterlog your new Rover? An onscreen wade sensor shows you how close you are to making a very expensive and very inconvenient mistake.
Fact is, there are technological assists for just about every aspect of off-roading, including All-Terrain Progress Control (think: low-speed off-road cruise control), as well as a particularly helpful 360-degree, multi-angle camera system that shows what's directly ahead of the vehicle when you're climbing an obstacle and all you see ahead is hood and sky.
The Velar may ultimately be less capable off-road than some other Green Oval models, but if it's guilty of anything, it's that it still makes tasks that should require a significant level of exertion feel too easy. For the modest degree of off-roading most customers are likely to attempt, buying a Velar is like hiring Dwayne Johnson to move your furniture. That's not a slight, exactly, but today's Land Rovers are so inherently capable that they can sometimes rob you of the sense of accomplishment that comes with conquering something difficult.
In North America, the Velar line receives a trio of powerplants, including a pair gas or diesel four-cylinder engines or JLR's ubiquitous range-topping 3.0-liter supercharged gas six cylinder. In Velar tune, the V6 makes 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, funneled to all four wheels through a well-sorted ZF eight-speed automatic. Official specs peg the 0-60 mph run in 5.3 seconds, but it feels slightly quicker, if only because you're sitting high up and moving nearly 4,500 pounds of British Royalty. Top speed is capped at 155 mph
Read More https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/2018-land-rover-range-rover-velar/preview/
"interior offroad, test drive"
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