Range Rover’s rival to the Porsche Macan comes in for a fresh design, upgraded interior and boosted performance.
The reinvention of the Land Rover line-up continues, as the Range Rover Velar comes in for a significant mid-life facelift aimed at boosting its appeal for the final few years on sale. On sale now in Australia, the updated 2023 Range Rover Velar is available to order now, priced from $106,150 plus on-road costs.
The Velar has been on sale since 2017 and was heavily mechanically updated (most significantly gaining a plug-in hybrid option) three years later, but this round of updates is much more visible and wide-reaching – and could help to make Solihull’s Porsche Macan rival a more integral part of the line-up. Last year, it was Land Rover’s second slowest-selling model, shifting 27,668 units – 9000 down on the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The headline for 2023 is a substantial upgrade for the Velar P400e plug-in hybrid, which – thanks to a boost in battery capacity from 13.6kWh to 19.2kWh – can now travel 64km on EV power, compared to 53km previously.
It can also now top up at speeds of up to 50kW, making this one of the fastest-charging PHEVs on sale.
The P400e continues to pair a 221kW four-cylinder petrol engine with a 105kW EV motor in the gearbox for 297kW and 640Nm, which gets it from 0-100km/h in just 5.4sec and on to a top speed of 130mph.
The four-cylinder petrol engine is available without electric assistance in the 185kW Velar P250, but the other three engine options come with mild-hybrid assistance: a four-pot diesel with 151kW and a pair of straight-sixes, one petrol and one diesel, with 295kW and 221kW respectively. The limited-run, 5.0-litre V8-powered SVAutobiography has not returned for another outing.
Externally, the new Velar is marked out from the pre-facelift car by new LED light designs at each, a new front grille design and a reshaped rear bumper.
The most obvious visible change, however, comes in the form of a new cockpit arrangement which brings the Velar in line with its larger Range Rover and Range Rover Sport siblings – the highlight being a new 11.4-inch ‘floating’ touchscreen which runs the latest generation of JLR’s Pivi Pro infotainment system.
Land Rover claims that around 80 per cent of all tasks can be carried out within two taps of the screen, with the new 2023 iteration of Pivi Pro bringing permanently visible climate and audio controls, a new ‘pre-drive’ panel for commonly used features and Amazon Alexa voice control functionality.
Underneath the new touchscreen is a minimalistic new centre console – free of physical controls and no longer featuring a separate climate control touchscreen – with a hidden storage cubby and wireless phone charger beneath.
Prices for the updated Velar range start from $106,150 plus on road costs in Australia and are available to order now.
Land Rover will have six pure-EVs in its line-up by 2026, and it is expected that these will be electric versions of the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery, Discovery Sport, Evoque and Defender.
Questions still hang over what will become of the mid-sized Velar after this generation as its siblings shift on to one of two new EV-compatible architectures: the EMA for the smaller Disco Sport and Evoque, or the MLA for the larger 4x4s.