Off-road, of course, this car is amazing - we were sent on the usual Land Rover trail of offset ramps that got one wheel in the air, near vertical walls that we traversed on one side, through a river with the brakes steaming, and down muddy mountain trails using the hill descent control. It was all par for the course, which is to say, unfaltering - your bravery will fail before a Land Rover does.
We tested a few versions: the smooth two-litre Ingenium diesel engine in 240PS guise is enough for this car (there’s also a D180 version), mated to the ZF eight-speed auto box, but the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel matches the luxury air of the Velar, with its air suspension which is only available on V6 diesel and petrol derivatives.
The price on the test vehicle is deceptive - we drove a First Edition launch car in R Dynamic spec which is the highest of five trim levels. The First Edition will be sold in the first year alone and has all bells and whistles on it, hence an £80k-plus price tag. But the range starts at £44,830, which squeezes it in between Evoque at £30,760 and Range Rover Sport at £60,050 (it clashes with Disco, at £43,995).
It’s wonderful to see the reprise of this name, which graced the first Range Rover prototype in the late Sixties, used now as a badge on cutting-edge British design. How far Land Rover has come in the intervening years, but what original strength there is in the badge still.
Engine: 3,000cc turbo diesel V6
Transmission: 8-spd auto, AWD
bhp/lb ft: 296bhp/516
Top speed: 150mph
Price as tested: £83,350