Land Rover’s new Range Rover Velar continues to garner strong press and positive response from enthusiasts – it was a hit at its original debut in Geneva, and is making waves again here at the New York Auto Show. David Larsen, Jaguar Land Rover’s general manager of product management in North America, has a positive outlook for Velar’s place in the company’s portfolio. And rather than just being a stepping stone for people coming out of other Land Rover products, Larsen says Velar will be a big opportunity for conquests.
Specifically, Larsen says the Audi Q5, BMW X4, and Porsche Macan are prime targets for the Velar. He’s also not worried about the Velar taking people out of the more expensive Range Rover Sport. “We’ve done a lot of clinicing with the [Velar],” Larsen tells Motor1. “Very few [customers] saw the Velar as a next vehicle. … They love their Sport, they want to remain with their Sport.”
When the Velar launches this summer, it will be offered with four- and six-cylinder gas options, as well as a four-cylinder diesel. Larsen says Land Rover is “enjoying about a 15-percent model mix” for diesel power in its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs, and the company is “forecasting about a 10-percent model mix” for diesel in the Velar.
As for future, hotter models – like an SVR, for example – Larsen just says the company is “always looking at different opportunities” to bring other variants to market. “If there is a business case for it,” nothing is out of the realm of possibility. (We’ve heard this one before, of course.)
Live Photos: Nathan Leach-Proffer / Motor1.com