What is it?
Land Rover says the Range Rover Velar is the best driver’s car it’s ever made, but we've been left underwhelmed by the variants powered by engines on the lower rungs of the range. Now, though, we’ve driven a model far better prepared to stand up to Land Rover's opening claim: a top-spec First Edition P380 with JLR’s proven supercharged 3.0-litre V6 beneath its snout.
Available only during the car's first year of production, the price of the First Edition starts at an eye-watering £85,450 - £15,240 more than the regular P380 - but it does so with a considerably longer list of standard-fit kit. Key among the additions is All Terrain Progress Control and £1140 worth of air suspension, as well as a head-up display, normally a £930 option. It bolsters the already high-tech armoury of cabin infotainment that’s made up of two touchscreens and digital instrument cluster, making for the most impressive cabin in this class.
What's it like?
The infotainment beats even the Virtual Cockpit of Audi’s Q5 for visual drama, although it’s less intuitive to use. Its touch responsiveness is comparable to that of a smartphone but, frustratingly, the reaction time for menus to load is not quite as swift. Our Velar’s system occasionally needed up to two seconds to respond when multiple applications, such as the satnav and music player, were called into use soon after one another.
The car’s large front seats are extremely comfortable and come with a four-mode massage system. Combined with the screens and soft-touch materials strewn around you, the Velar’s interior is certainly not wanting for luxury, so much so that the cabin is the first feature that’ll grab you during your first ride whether you’re sitting in the front or back.
The car’s V6 engine is shared with the Jaguar F-Pace S, with which the Velar also borrows its aluminium structure. The motor channels 375bhp and 332lb ft to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF gearbox, with power biased to the rear wheels in normal driving conditions.