white space' between the Range Evoque and Range Rover Sport, the Velar's body is developed on Jaguar Land Rover's Lightweight Aluminium Architecture, this material accounting for 81 per cent of the body in white. Familiar technology shared with other JLR products includes the Integral Link rear suspension, designed to deliver dynamically while reducing wheelarch intrusion into the cabin.
The mid-size SUV market is full of strong rivals, not least from the Germans. They're now joined by Fiat's luxury brands in the shape of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio we drove just the other day and the Maserati Levante. The Velar has some work to do, clearly.
But is it a rival to the Stelvio, Macan and the rest? Or more a Levante and Cayenne sized car? With a wheelbase of 2,874mm, it is 67mm longer than a Macan but 632 litres of boot space against the Macan's 500 litres suggests it's a bigger machine all round.
The Velar is packed with driver aids to help keep you on the straight and narrow, be that keeping you in lane or assisting with guiding a trailer into a space. Up to 2,500kg can be towed, meaning this may well figure in your Velar ownership plans. Intelligent this and assist that are backed up with an army of acronyms from AEB, LDW, LKA, TSR, RTD and ACC - basically this includes anticipatory safety systems and even a fatigue detection system to advise when it might be a good idea to stop for a brew.
With plenty of modes to aid the daily commute, 'Commute mode' and 'Arrival mode' stand out - learning your daily drive to suggest alternative routes depending on real-time traffic information and the latter showing a 360-degree interactive view of the destination and able to find a nearby parking space and direct the driver to it.
Adaptive Dynamics monitors wheel movements to vary the damping forces whilst the optional Configurable Dynamics allows the driver to tailor the vehicle settings to their individual preferences, much like in the MY18 Jaguar updates.
Speaking of which, yes, the Velar will still be able to off-road like a proper Range Rover. Terrain Response is standard along with Low Traction Launch and All Terrain Progress Control, the latter working like a low-speed cruise control on slippery surfaces. Terrain Response 2 is optional (though comes as standard on First Edition models) while V6 models come with an active locking rear differential to work with the Intelligent Driveline Dynamics to help put that extra power to good use. Torque Vectoring by Braking' is also standard across the range.
The line-up consists of Velar 2.0L D180 at £44,830, before progressing through S, SE and HSE. These latter three can be upgraded to R-Dynamic spec for an additional £2,420, adding grey wheels, an R-Dynamic exterior pack and various unique trim details inside. The First Edition is available in V6 diesel or petrol and costs £83,350 or £85,450 respectively and will be available for the first model year only - it uses HSE as a base spec before adding extended leather, 1,600W Meridian Signature sound system, Matrix Laser-LED lights and 22-inch split-spoke wheels.
So much for the facts - as you read this the covers will be coming off the car at its formal Design Museum unveiling. Stay tuned for more on that!