Ascending to the summit of one of the most competitive automotive markets is a feat in itself, and yet Land Rover has been continuously sat at the very pinnacle – setting the benchmark for the past seven decades. Land Rover’s linear, more evolutionary approach has led to the continuous development of an assortment of the most iconic, versatile and accomplished vehicles in motoring history.

Changing of the Guard

Since 1948, Land Rover has been manufacturing vehicles that seamlessly combine an unmistakable elegance and style, with a rugged, off-road ‘go anywhere’ capability at heart; every vehicle off the production line oozes in a superior quality and basks the company’s rich and distinct tapestry. Boasting familiar and timeless design cues, acting in tandem with the latest modern technology, Land Rover continues to press forward in developing the most reputable and opulent four-wheel drive vehicles conceivable.

The staggering breadth of functionality the marque has to offer has enabled a thoroughly diverse portfolio of utilisation over the past seven decades. From active service with the armed forces, to premiership footballers, agricultural workhorses to chauffeur driven members of monarchy, to remote Red Cross aid missions and just about every walk of life in between.

The versatility of applications is truly vast; Land Rover vehicles are employed across the planet – regardless of desolate, undulating terrains and inhospitable weather conditions, where no other vehicles would suffice. Highlighting Land Rover’s engineering superiority, the company possesses a monumental two-decade long domination of the Camel Trophy, one of the most gruelling and arduous cross-country rallies in history. Not to mention being the first ever winners of the 10,000km Paris-Dakar Rally back in 1979.

Land Rover is not short of outstanding professional accolades, pioneering in fields of engineering and design since the original Series 1 debuted at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948. Merely three years later, in 1951, the automaker was awarded its first Royal Warrant by King George VI, cementing the brand’s prestige and aiding Land Rover in becoming the British motoring superlative it is today.

And with this long and illustrious history comes a great pressure to continue to deliver vehicles that can contend in today’s ultra competitive SUV space, while showcasing development and innovation in perfect complement with the company’s age-old ‘go anywhere’ mantra.

Changing of the Guard

To furnish fitting tribute to these fine motoring machines, we paid a visit to C. de Salamanca, Marbella, and got behind the wheel of the new Range Rover Velar to see if the latest addition to the company’s line-up truly fits the bill and can stand on parade with some of the most exemplary vehicles in its lasting and famed repertoire.

The latest addition to the brand’s revered catalogue, the Velar sits under the Range Rover umbrella, between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. Aesthetically, I think the Velar steals the show as the very best looking car in the 2018 range. In comparison to its older brother, the ever-prominent Range Rover Sport, the Velar’s roofline sits a substantial 4.5 inches shorter and sweeps back to a rear some 2 inches more diminished in both overall length and wheelbase.

From the outside, the Velar’s coachwork is a real treat to drink in, from the slightly pinched rear tailgate to the thick, strapping jaw line set by the muscular and unapologetic front end. The car we drove was finished in an incredible Indus Silver that caught every colour in the spectrum between pale blue and brilliant white under the hazy sunlight as we ascended into the mountains. And to compliment, the roof was dressed in an optional deep Santorini Black. Inside the cabin is where the Velar excels even further, offering the driver and fortunate companions some unparalleled luxury real-estate. Each material and finish in the cockpit flaunts a quality feel and look, and the levels of consideration in the overall design are marvellous, and can truly contest many cars above its weight in price.

Unlike the more claustrophobic Evoque, the Velar feels spacious in both the front and rear. From the driver’s seat, the centre console and instrument cluster are clear and accessible, and visibility to the outside world is good. The new dual touch screens in the centre console and the TFT instrument panel look fantastic and feel responsive and fairly intuitive to use. The level of technology on offer here is really remarkable and the dual infotainment screens make for a salient centrepiece in the cabin. One of my only reservations here is that the touch screen did get slightly tricky to use when out on the road and doesn’t feel quite as natural or instantaneous as the use of a tangible button or dial.

The driving position feels elevated, a long-standing staple of the brand, but with a few trick seat adjustments you can sit lower among the metal and feel a little more engaged in the driving experience. A real highlight was shifting with the titanium paddles – especially once you get slightly higher in the rev range and the Velar clears its throat, you’d be forgiven for occasionally forgetting you were driving a large SUV at all – especially with the odd exhaust crackle bouncing off the rocky passes. The ride comfort is superb and very compliant across a variety of surfaces, as you’d expect. Thanks to the Velar’s more squat posture, it doesn’t suffer the same unforgiving body-roll as its taller siblings. As the road opened up with longer sweeping turns revealing more of the mountain vista, the Velar always felt poised and maintained its composure.

Under the hood, there are a variety of powertrain options available – with turbocharged petrol and diesel variants to choose from, as well as some bigger V6 motors if you desire more potent performance. We tested the 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine – which offers 250hp and 269 lb ft of torque. In the 250P as tested, you’ll see 100 km/h in about 7 seconds. It can hold pace comfortably, even returning reasonable fuel economy for such a sizable vehicle when Eco mode is engaged. Performance is solid, offering very usable low-down torque and linear power delivery. The Velar effortlessly surged forward up the serpentine mountain path without hesitation and our time driving around town was made leisurely thanks to the smooth 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.

Overall, the Velar is a wonderful drive. Exhibiting a sleek exterior and alluring interior, this stylish package offers practicality, performance and uncompromised quality. As tested, the price tag on our Velar came in at around €83,000 – giving some illustration as to the wide plethora of bespoke options available. Showcasing all the hallmarks of Land Rover’s latest innovations, the Velar truly is a triumphant look forward to the next generation of motorcars by the world-renowned manufacturer, and in my opinion represents a very strong showing for the future of Land Rover.


For more information on the Range Rover Velar, visit