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First Look: 2018 Range Rover Velar

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 02-03-2017 Kyle Campbell
Two 10-inch touchscreens control the infotainment system and the climate controls. - Land Rover © Provided by Daily News, L.P. Two 10-inch touchscreens control the infotainment system and the climate controls. - Land Rover

When it comes to SUVs, too many is still not enough. Case in point: Land Rover, which has added a fourth nameplate to its Range Rover family.

The 2018 Range Rover Velar is a stylish and capable SUV that slots in between the midsize Range Rover Sport and the small, crossover-like Evoque, providing additional versatility to the British luxury automaker’s already varied lineup.

The 2018 Velar offers a host of advanced drivers assistance systems, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, reverse traffic detection and driver condition monitoring. - Land Rover © Provided by Daily News, L.P. The 2018 Velar offers a host of advanced drivers assistance systems, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, reverse traffic detection and driver condition monitoring. - Land Rover

Based on the same platform as the Jaguar F-Pace, which debuted to great fanfare in 2016, the Velar is far from a carbon copy of its cousin, as it boasts a design that is, in most ways, distinctly Range Rover and yet, at the same time, something all its own.

As the fourth member of the Range Rover family, the new 2018 Velar sits between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. - Land Rover © Provided by Daily News, L.P. As the fourth member of the Range Rover family, the new 2018 Velar sits between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. - Land Rover

On the outside, it features flat-folding deployable door handles, a first in its segment, ultra-thin LED headlights and burnished copper detailing, all features that promise to influence Range Rovers of the future. Meanwhile, on the inside, a pair of sleek 10-inch touchscreens controls the Velar’s infotainment and climate controls and a heads-up display projects a digital odometer on the windshield in front of the driver.

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Despite its relatively low roofline, the Velar provides a decent 34.4 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row of seats, which compares quite favorably to its less roomy competitors: the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC-Class and Porsche Macan.

Land Rover has rolled out yet another premium small SUV: the 2018 Range Rover Velar. - Land Rover © Provided by Daily News, L.P. Land Rover has rolled out yet another premium small SUV: the 2018 Range Rover Velar. - Land Rover

Named for Land Rover’s original 1969 Range Rover prototype, the Velar will offer three powertrains when it debuts later this year: a 180-horsepower 2.0-liter Ingenium diesel-powered four-cylinder, which makes 317 lb.-ft. of torque; a 247-horsepower 2.0-liter Ingenium gas-powered four-cylinder and a 380-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 gas engine. All three engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

On the tech side of things, Range Rover will offer Land Rover’s signature Terrain Response 2 system, which can scan its surroundings and adjust traction control, engine output and other factors to acclimate to specific off-roading conditions; adaptive cruise control that can operate in stop-and-go traffic; an Intelligent Driveline Dynamics system with adaptive dampening and an optional active locking rear differential, and advanced towing assistance, which can help maneuver trailers around tricky situations semi-autonomously. Speaking of towing, the V-6 version of the Velar can pull up to 5,500 pounds.

When the Velar arrives in the U.S. later this year alongside the fifth-generation Land Rover Discovery, it will be available in standard, S, SE and HSE trims, as well as a special, limited-edition First Edition package, which will be available to just 500 customers. Prices range from $49,900 for the base model before destination charge to more than $89,000 for the First Edition.

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