The Ambit Rover Velar is added affirmation that Land Rover has no ambition of actuality an acrid agenda in automotive history as a committed 4WD cast that absent a exhausted during the SUV craze.
While the aboriginal Ambit Rover xxisted abandoned for added than 30 years, the accomplished 13 years accept now apparent the ‘Rangie’ agency quadrupled with the Sport (2004), Evoque (2011), and now Velar (pronounced with accent on the aboriginal syllable).
The latest stiff-upper-lip SUV from Britain takes its name from the prototypes that approved to put the industry off the aroma that Rover (Land Rover didn’t clearly abide as a cast until 1978) was developing a agent that was as acceptable on alley as it was off it.
If there’s any assurance that Land Rover is as abundant about architectonics today as it is 4WD engineering, the 21st-century Velar is it.
And Land Rover has its axles beyond it will prove to be as acknowledged as the style-focused Evoque, aloft which the concept-car-for-the-road Velar sits to ample the appraisement “white space” amid the babyish Rangie and the Rangie Sport.
The all-inclusive ambit (40-odd variants) starts from $70,662 – a blow beneath the Jaguar F-Pace with which it shares abounding apparatus and its aluminium architectonics – and up to $135,762.
In profile, it’s accessible to acknowledge the Rangie and Jag allotment wheelbase (2874mm) and adamantine credibility – admitting while they allotment an able-bodied posture, there’s a added conceptual attending to the Velar: the way the ascent waistline and coast roofline actualize an alike added arresting swept-back stance; those ultra-slim LED headlights and tail-lights; those allegory overhangs; and the flushness of the anatomy – including the beefy aperture handles that arrange electrically outwards back you columnist the key fob.
The autogenous differences are starker. Where the F-Pace’s acumen of affection struggles adjoin an Audi Q5, the Velar has the abeyant to attempt for berth leadership.
We say abeyant as our analysis P380 alternative actuality is the limited-run Aboriginal Edition that costs $168,862.
While based on what will nominally be the range-topping, $135,762 R-Dynamic HSE P380, it adds a bulk of account to the standard-equipment inventory, including: All Terrain Progress Ascendancy (a low-speed off-road cruise ascendancy system); Terrain Response 2; alive rear locking diff; attack sensing; atramentous adverse roof; sliding across-the-board roof; 22-inch admixture wheels; matrix-laser LED headlights; carbon fibre and chestnut braid autogenous trim; suedecloth headlining; exceptional carpet; customisable ambient autogenous lighting; heated, collapsed rear seats; acrimonious council wheel; head-up display; Meridian 1600-watt, 23-speaker audio; surround-view camera; Activity Key bracelet.
We could aces added than a brace of items from that accumulation that buyers of a approved HSE P380 adeptness accept accepted to be accepted for a agent that costs about $150K already on-road costs are factored in.
While the Aboriginal Edition showcases the Velar’s autogenous in its finest form, the arresting Blow Pro Duo adjustment that is actual abundant a berth centrepiece is accepted beyond the range.
(And there’s addition Jaguar articulation here, because the accompanying 10-inch touchscreen adjustment seems aggressive by the C-X17 abstraction that previewed the F-Pace.)
The high screen, which looks like an colossal iPhone anchored in the dash, tilts advanced on start-up and serves as the agenda infotainment digital. Like a smartphone, it appearance bash and compression functionality and is analytic acknowledging to the touch. (Apple CarPlay/Android Auto isn’t available, mind.)
The lower awning blends into the lower console, and houses controls for altitude control, bench heating/cooling, and the multi-surface-mode Terrain Response system.
There are specific touch-buttons for allotment amid modes that accommodate Dynamic (if sportier-looking R-Dynamic trim is chosen), Comfort, Gravel/Mud/Snow. Or two physical, rubberised dials can circle through the modes (or change berth or basement temperature if Altitude or Seats are called from the top of the lower screen).
Velar’s high-tech attending is completed with a 12.3-inch basic apparatus array (standard on mid-range SE upwards; abject S get a 5.0-inch TFT display), head-up affectation (optional all models), and capacitive council caster controls with capricious options.
The closing combines with the two-tone architectonics to accord the Velar’s agriculturalist a amalgam modern/classic look, admitting the controls and agnate airheaded abridgement the intuitiveness of the touchscreen set-ups.
The covering caster isn’t aloof nice to authority but additionally guides the mid-size Ambit Rover with breadth and accuracy.
Its weighting feels spot-on for all motoring scenarios, alike if it doesn’t accommodate the aforementioned akin of acknowledgment as the F-Pace’s steering. The Velar doesn’t accept absolutely the aforementioned activity for corners as the Jaguar, either, and its 1.9-tonne weight, admitting not abundant heavier, feels added noticeable.
Yet the administration is composed, and ably accurate by abounding anchor from the big elastic and strong, accelerating brakes (which are bigger on six-cylinder variants).
V6 Velars additionally accretion air abeyance as standard, admitting the Aboriginal Edition’s 22-inch auto do added for commutual the concept-vehicle administration than carrying ultimate comfort.
There was an basal activity to our analysis car (in Abundance mode) that suggests activity with 19s or 20s adeptness accompany the Velar afterpiece to artful the flagship Rangie’s abundantly cosseting ride (strange Dynamic alternative excepted), but those 22s feel (and sound) heavy-handed over joins and imperfections, and actualize a band of compactness that never allows a absolutely adequate drive about boondocks or forth country roads.
The tyres are decidedly quiet on base surfaces, though, accidental to clarification levels accomplishing the luxury-SUV brief.
We wouldn’t apperception if the 3.0-litre V6 petrol was a little added vocal. Compared with its accession in Jaguars, it sounds chastened and dull here. It additionally needs affluence of revs on the tacho afore drive feels appropriately effortless, and comestible that access drains the ammunition catchbasin at an alarming rate.
The supercharged six gels beautifully with the ZF eight-speed auto, though. The manual provides aqueous accouterment in D, while agee the rotary gearshift punch to S brings accurate downshifts beneath braking.
Drivers can alternatively use the accepted paddleshift levers (the aforementioned disappointingly artificial flippers from the F-Pace). They accomplish best faculty back acclimated in affiliation with the petrol V6, admitting the V6 twin-turbo agent D300 presents a acceptable case as the agent of best with its above torque – 700Nm v 450Nm.
While the Velar shares its on-demand, rear-axle-biased 4WD adjustment with the F-Pace, Land Rover claims criterion off-roading adeptness for the mid-size SUV segment.
We ashore to the bitumen, in application of those 22-inch wheels, admitting if you are so absorbed to ascend abrasive or addled gradients, air rather than braid springs are the aces – accouterment greater arena approval (251mm v 213mm) and hardly added wading adequacy (65 v 60cm). Aloof don’t apprehend to go as far off the baffled clue as the bigger Ambit Rovers.
The appearance out isn’t absolutely as expansive, either, abnormally after the flagship Rangie’s classically alpine bottle breadth or its added advantageous basement position.
That aside, the advanced seats are admirable to sit in, abnormally with the HSE spec’s adaptable Windsor leather, and the Velar takes an ergonomic achievement over the F-Pace by agreement the window switches on the aperture armrest rather than aperture beltline. Storage is excellent, and the Land Rover button on the animate that reveals an added cupholder is a accurate touch.
Rear cartage aren’t advised to absolutely the aforementioned bulk of legroom as the Jaguar admitting identical wheelbases, but the Velar brings a bigger cossack at 558 litres (v 508L).
Although the Aboriginal Edition P380 is loaded with all the fruit, that $170K bulk tag additionally agency best bodies will charge all their oranges in a row at the pokies to allow it. It’s a lot of bread for what is alone a mid-sized SUV, and we anticipate there are sweeter spots to be begin in a Velar ambit that boodle you for choice.
And alike if you had that budget, we’d point you appear either a Ambit Rover Sport SDV6 Autobiography or alike the entry-level flagship, full-size Ambit Rover that will both accretion the Blow Pro Duo adjustment in 2018, but added chiefly are added complete Rangies.
MORE: Velar news, reviews, comparisons and videosMORE: Everything Ambit RoverMORE: Everything Land Rover
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