LONDON -- British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is targeting the Range Rover Velar at the top end of the premium market by pricing its latest SUV much higher than rivals from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
The Velar will start at 44,830 pounds ($55,700) in its UK home market, slightly more than the 43,553 pounds entry-level Porsche Macan and up to 10,000 pounds more than the cheapest BMW X3/X4, Mercedes GLC or Audi Q5.
The Velar was unveiled on Wednesday here, ahead of its March 7 public debut at the Geneva auto show. It will go on sale globally in July, giving Range Rover its first midsize SUV. The new model will be positioned between the smaller Range Rover Evoque and the larger Range Rover Sport.
While Land Rover is renowned for the off-road capabilities of its vehicles, the Velar will aim to appeal to a wide range of buyers. "This is the most road-oriented Range Rover we have ever designed," said Jaguar Land Rover's exterior design director Massimo Frascella.
Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralph Speth said the Velar is a "more car-like Range Rover," but still with SUV capabilities.
The Velar is the first Land Rover to be based on Jaguar Land Rover’s Lightweight Aluminum Architecture. The platform is used on Jaguar's XE midsize sedan and F-Pace crossover.
The Velar's wheelbase length at 2874mm is the same as that of F-Pace, which is built the same plant in Solihull, central England. Despite sharing a body, the F-Pace is much cheaper with a starting price 10,000 pounds below the Velar.
The Velar's 81 percent aluminum body content makes the SUV light and stiff enough to achieve both agile handling and a comfortable ride, Land Rover said.