None of the Land Rover designers who built it in the 60s knew it would start a new automotive genre.
Velar isn't just a name that rolls off the tongue so smoothly that Land Rover decided to festoon its latest and prettiest Range Rover SUV with it. As you may know, there’s actually quite a bit of history that goes behind the moniker. While the original Land Rover was the car of choice for those exploring every corner of the world, the automaker realized at some point that customers would want something more than just an unrefined machine that was good at traversing the badlands.
In typically British fashion, Land Rover wondered why it couldn’t preserve that off-road prowess while sprinkling in some comfort so that occupants’ bones wouldn't be rattled to pieces by tea time. At the time, that niche hadn’t been exploited, so Land Rover cooked up a few prototypes labeled “Velar,” which means “to veil,” and put them to the test.
When it felt the recipe was right, it debuted the Velar in production form as a Range Rover and the rest is history. As the first modern “saloon” car that could also go anywhere its owners damn well pleased, it soon became a status symbol and has remained so for decades. With Auto Express behind the wheel of one of those preproduction models, we get the comfort of knowing that not much about the Range Rover DNA has changed in its modern interpretations. With four models under the Range Rover umbrella, it's only right that Land Rover finally gives these test mules some credit.