It’s been quite a Land Rovery week in my capacity as the least technical car reviewer in Britain and writer of Tatler’s new motoring column, Toff Gear.
Firstly, the launch of the new Range Rover Velar at the Design Museum on Kensingonton High Street. Because we definitely needed a few more Range Rovers kicking about the streets of London.
It’s pretty beaut, to use just one of my favourite technical terms. I went up to Land Rover headquarters in Warwickshire a few weeks ago for a sneak preview and poke around in it. There were about eight or nine other journalists there and we all had to put our phones in security bags so we couldn’t use them and sign non-disclosure agreements so nothing leaked out ahead of last week’s official launch.
If you’re the sort of person who thinks that one RR looks much like the next RR then you might not be able to tell the difference BUT the new model has two main selling points as far as I can see. Or three actually.
Firstly, it has not one but two 10-inch touchscreens in the front. Which is neat because you can control the heating/music etc on one while not losing sight of the sat nav on the other. Also, it means there are very few buttons cluttering up the car.
Secondly, the Velar (emphasis on the first syllable. Don’t make yourself look like a dick by mispronouncing the new Range Rover’s name in your Premier League changing room) has quite a long wheelbase. I apologise for using a word that *is* ever so slightly technical but what this means is that there’s nearly three metres between the front and back wheel. Or 2.87m to be precise. Which makes the Velar quite elongated. Imagine Gigi Hadid draped elegantly along a sunbed. There. A bit like that. It looks smashing, basically.
Thirdly, if you’re a drug dealer and you want super pimped black leather interiors in your new Velar then, fine. By all means order that. But if you’re Stella McCartney and worried about the environment, then this is the first RR to offer animal-friendly fabric interiors. It’s a wool/polyester mix, which is nicer than it sounds and designed by a posh furniture fabric company called Kvadrat. If you’re reading this and you happen to be a drug dealer who also worries about the environment, then I’m sorry to unfairly malign you.
So there you have it. The new Velar. Loads of people were at the launch last week – Zara Phillips, Damian Lewis, Poppy Delevingne, Piers Morgan and so on. RR want it to become the ‘it car’. So look out for them all purring around London in Velars v soon.
Meanwhile, I’m in Utah testing the new Discovery. But I’m not going to tell you anything technical about that because I’m saving all my expert thoughts for a Toff Gear column in Tatler.
This hotel, the Amangiri, is banging though.
Looks like something from a Bond film, right? There are about 30 of us out here right now – car writers, bloggers, vloggers (they make YouTube videos, Mum) and LR ambassadors. There’s hiking, yoga, kayaking etc but various of us are going to go off plan and drive a car down to New Mexico this afternoon (three hours from here) to a point called the Four Corners Monument where four states meet – New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. This car reviewing lark is alright, you know.