Living with the Range Rover Velar Hybrid pt. I: North Yorkshire Moors
We venture from city to countryside to test out Land Rover's middleweight Range Rover Velar P400e plug-in hybrid
The car - Range Rover Velar P400e
Named after the clandestine codename for the original prototype Range Rover in the late 1960s, the Range Rover Velar – meaning to hide in Latin – found its way into the Range Rover line up in 2017 to sit between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, as a more compact, form-focused yet functional model.
The most recent addition to the Velar line-up is the P400 plug in hybrid model, which is well-suited to city living with over 30 miles of pure electric range helping it creep around the streets, while it's potent petrol 2.0-litre engine (296bhp) and electric unit (139bhp) can propel it from 0-60 in just over five seconds and on to a top speed of 130mph.
The trip - North Yorkshire Moors
Heading out of what's fast become the Range Rover's territory of choice over the years, we escape the city and head north up the A1 to Yorkshire for an all-road adventure on the North Yorkshire Moors.
Creeping through the city, the hybrid Velar's 30 miles of pure electric range is more than enough to get us clear of London and out onto the open road. On the motorway dash, any leftover electricity works away behind the scenes to aid acceleration while the petrol engine takes over the majority of the leg work.
Cruising at speeds of 70 mph, the noise in the cabin is reassuringly 'Range Rover' – there's barely a sound to contend with. For years, the engineering wizards at Land Rover have honed and perfected the art of silent driving to create the most relaxing driving experience possible and the Velar hybrid is no exception. When running on electric only, the Velar is a pleasure to pilot around in near silence, while the pulling power of the electric powerplant is both smooth and grin-inducing. Despite using petrol power on the motorway, the Velar's crafty noise cancelling technology ensure the sound of the four-cylinder petrol engine doesn't penetrate the calm in the cabin.
With the motorway drag complete and a night's rest in the bag, it's out into the beautiful, rural surroundings of North Yorkshire, in the direction of the fishing town of Whitby on Yorkshire's east coast. Breezing through the picturesque market town of Helmsley, we make a break off the suggested route and head for Blakey Ridge – one of the UKs finest driving roads that cuts across the Moors.
Sitting high is a blessing here – wafting across the North Yorkshire Moors gives way to the spectacular views over to the coast and inland. The road is a mecca for driving enthusiasts, which is a perfect opportunity to test out the Velar's Dynamic drive mode setting, which sharpens the throttle response, and steering, while combining both the electric and petrol powerplants to provide potent acceleration. Foot to the floor, the hybrid Velar is not far off the performance-focused Velar SV Autobiography in terms of its sporting credentials.
Dropping down off the ridge and into the calm of the harbour, it's time to park up and wander through the cobbled streets of Whitby's old town. Sitting high above the harbour is the Abbey at the top of the East Cliff, which featured in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula. Back on the road, the calm of the Velar's cabin adds another hugely pleasing dimension to the Range Rover levels of comfort as we head for another overnight before making the dash back to the hustle and bustle of the city.