Insiders at JLR are calling it the ‘Velar’ (according to our friends on Car magazine) – a tantalizing reference to the iconic prototypes of the original Range Rovers in the late 1960s.
It’s hard to detect much of a lineage though. Under the skin this isn’t a downsized Range Rover or a beefed up Disco Sport, but a re-imagined Jaguar F-Pace.
In the Range Rover family it’ll occupy the niche between the Sport and the Evoque; in the grander scheme it’s designed to do battle with German SUV’s such as the Porsche Macan, Mercedes GLE and BMW X6.
And if the spectacular sales of the F-Pace are anything to go by, it’ll deliver them a pretty bloody nose...
This test mule is registered with the DVLA as a 3.0-litre petrol, which means it’ll be one of the as-yet unavailable straight-sixes from JLR’s Ingenium series. Max bhp should start around a ‘mere’ 300bhp. If SVR get their hands on it, there could be 500bhp versions...
Don’t expect a seven-seat option – that’s the reserve of Discovery-badged vehicles only nowadays, and the rakish roof line would probably preclude it anyway.
The Range Rover Sport Coupe is likely to break cover in the spring next year. It’s one to watch, but in the meantime we’re looking forward to seeing the new Discovery 5, expected at the Paris motor show in October this year.
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