Land Rover Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar comes with a choice of three different engines. At the bottom of the range is a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged unit making 247 horsepower. Even with the base engine, Land Rover claims the Velar will hit 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, making the Velar pretty quick with this engine. For drivers who need even more power, a 3.0L Supercharged V6 makes 380 hp, good for 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. And of course, in keeping with tradition, the Velar is also available with a much more frugal diesel engine, a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo making 180 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all-four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The Velar is available in three basic trims for 2018, though Land Rover offers several specification packs for a few of the trims, giving buyers more choices than what's obvious. The Velar is offered in standard base, R-Dynamic and First Edition trims.

At its core, the Range Rover Velar comes with 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, an 8-speaker, 250W sound system, heated mirrors, 10-way adjustable front seats and an Advanced Driver Assistance system which features an autonomous braking system, a lane departure warning system, a rearview camera and intelligent cruise control. The S package will add an 11-speaker sound system, perforated leather seats, auto-dimming and power folding outside mirrors with a nifty approach light and bigger, 19-inch wheels.

The R-Dynamic comes with 20-inch wheels, a different front and rear bumper design, burnished copper accents fore the interior, front fog lights and a 17-speaker 825W sound system.

The First Edition pretty much comes loaded to the roof with convenience and styling features. Highlights include 22-inch wheels, configurable ambient interior lighting, a power adjustable steering column, 20-way power adjustable front seats with heating and cooling and a memory function and 23-speakers and 1600W of sound system.

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Editors' First Take

British aristocrats love formal, long-winded titles. Prince Philip's actual, full, royal designation is no fewer than 133 words. So at nine words, 24 syllables and 65 characters, the 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition's name is a terse snippet by comparison. And like the Duke of Edinburgh, this luxury SUV was born into Anglian nobility -- among carmakers, Land Rover is decidedly blue of blood. Fortunately, as I discovered firsthand during my Southern California test drive, the word jumble that makes up this particular Velar's model's name -- "SVAutobiography Dynamic Edition" -- has been earned in the best possible way, through the accumulation of riches and power, not just because of some birthright.

For those who don't speak Land Rover, "SVAutobiography" means significant extra care and fairy dust has been lavished upon this vehicle by the company's Special Vehicle Operations' (SVO) department. In particular, this Velar has been developed with an eye towards even more upscale finishes, especially in the cabin, which layers premium atop premium. Here, that means diamond-quilted, perforated Windsor leather seats with standard heat, cooling and massage functions, along with reclining, heated rear chairs. It also means the fitment of a sport steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles and knurled switchgear finishes on key controls, including the rotary gearshift and infotainment jog dials.

Supercharged thump

As you might assume, the "Dynamic Edition" of this Velar's name points to enhanced performance credentials, and boy, howdy, have they been enhanced. The standard Velar is available with either a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline I4 dispensing 247 horsepower, or a supercharged gas V6 with a healthier 340 hp. As you might expect, the former isn't really worth considering, but the latter doesn't particularly lack for grunt, delivering 60 mph from a standstill in a factory-estimated 6.1 seconds before pushing the nearly 4,500-pound SUV to 155 mph. That's pretty quick. For this new Dynamic Edition model, however, the engineers at SVO have shoehorned Jaguar Land Rover's time-honored 5.0-liter supercharged V8 under the Velar's aluminum clamshell hood. Tuned to realize 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque, this steroidal SUV dispatches 0-to-60 in just 4.3 seconds -- about the same time as a BMW i8 coupe. It'll push on to 170 mph before an electronic limiter staunches the fuel flow, too.

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