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Reductive, seductive


Talk Box

The refreshed Range Rover Velar shows that less is more

WHEN THE RANGE Rover Velar was first unveiled to the world in 2017, it became known as the “avant-garde model” in the Range Rover line. That’s according to IC Land Automotive, Inc. Vice-President Chris Ward, in a speech delivered during the recent local launch of the premium crossover’s refreshed version.

You could say the Velar builds upon its reputation by presenting a study in luxe that puts forth a “reductionist design approach.” A simple, smooth-curving exterior — set off by the proud Range Rover lettering above a new, sophisticated-looking grille — makes the model stand out through simplicity and elegance. These and more, says Land Rover, also drive home the modern luxury design theme.

And perhaps because it is an upgrade and not a full-model change just yet, the 2024 Velar sees an “evolution rather than revolution,” continued Mr. Ward. This incremental change applies a minimalist ethos to one of the key models in the Philippines which, added the executive, has been a “consistent seller in the market.” The mix of buyers, if you’re wondering, is a more even split between males and females — unlike smaller Range Rover Evoque, which is skewed by design for the ladies.

The Velar also represents a progression into the portfolio; a maturation into the Range Rover series. “Velar buyers are a little older. They’re a little more into style; that minimalist look. They would live in an apartment that has very few things on the sideboards; less is more. That makes a very focused statement. That’s the Velar buyer,” declared Mr. Ward with a smile.

The Velar gets the familiar floating roof (made by blacking out the pillars) and an unbroken waistline. The clean, smooth finish is underscored by flush, deployable door handles. New to this (still) current-gen Velar are the lower rear bumper design and dark accents. Meanwhile, pixel LED headlamps not only enhance visibility but imbue a “jewel-like” appearance to the vehicle. At the rear are “super-red LED taillights for better visibility and reduced dazzle.”

In a release, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Chief Creative Officer Prof. Gerry McGovern, OBE said that the Velar “is a flawless example of our modernist design philosophy — clean, reductive, and compellingly desirable. Defined by perfectly optimized proportions, Range Rover Velar embodies effortless sophistication with a bold elegance and dramatic presence that is truly unique.”

Inside, the simplification is underscored by collecting physical buttons and such into a single floating 11.4-inch curved glass touchscreen that is cleanly integrated into the center console. “Less is more,” posited Mr. Ward. “There’s one big screen, and everything has moved into that screen. We’ve done away with clutter in the center console.”

It’s really about removing distractions, he stated. “Literally, the only thing now is the gear selector. It’s clean and lovely inside.” It’s also about removing cruelty; the Velar is leather-free — employing, instead, Kvadrat wool blends and polyurethane textile. The vehicle also does away with CO2 and other harmful substances from the interiors through the Cabin Air Purification Plus feature, which employs advanced with PM2.5 filtration systems.

Interestingly, the country ranks second in Asia in terms of Land Rover sales, which should also mean further good news as vehicle production continues to ramp up, post-pandemic. The wait time, with a few model exceptions, has been significantly lessened from 15 to 18 months down to as little as six, reported the executive.

For now at least, this model comes in one flavor in the Philippines. Under the hood of the Range Rover Velar P250 is Land Rover’s familiar gas-sipping 2.0-liter P250 engine — submitting 250ps and 365Nm from 1,300rpm to 4,500rpm and mated with an eight-speed automatic. Priced at P6.69 million, the new Velar is available to order now. Production is expected to ensue, said Mr. Ward, in October and November, with deliveries to commence by December. For more information, visit https://www.landrover.ph/range-rover/range-rover- velar/overview.