Land Rover announced updates to three of its core SUV models Wednesday — the 2021 Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar and Discovery Sport. These updates appear to have been originally slated for unveiling during what would have been the L.A. Auto Show this week, but like the other debuts, they're being handled virtually instead.
We expect Land Rover's latest models to make their way stateside some time in Q1, but supply chain issues related to the global health crisis and Brexit could push back launch dates (as happened with the Land Rover Defender 90).
Fortunately, these are all somewhat incremental changes, mostly centered around in-cabin technology and infotainment features. The exception is the Range Rover Velar, which gains a mild hybrid electric powertrain option in addition to its other 2021 updates. We'll start there.
2021 Range Rover Velar
We touched on the big news for the Velar above. The 2021 model year marks the introduction of a new hybrid-electric powertrain based on the company's turbocharged "Ingenium" I6 engine. Like similar European offerings, this new engine makes use of a 48-volt electric architecture and integrated starter generator, plus an electric supercharger to supplement boost from a traditional turbocharging setup (in this case, a twin-scroll turbine).
Available on all three trims (S, R-Dynamic S and R-Dynamic HSE), this new engine replaces the Velar's old supercharged V6. The P340 offered in the S and R-Dynamic S models produces 335 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque; the P400, exclusive to the R-Dynamic HSE, makes 395 hp and 405 lb-ft. Land Rover says the latter is enough to propel the Velar to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds.
Inside, the Velar now gets Land Rover's latest infotainment system, dubbed Pivi Pro, with HD-quality resolution on 10-inch touchscreen units. It also receives an active road noise cancellation system, and like the other models detailed here, gets Land Rover's second-generation "Activity Key," which is essentially a custom smartwatch that is paired to the Velar's security system. An optional new advanced cabin air filtration system is also available for 2021.
2021 Range Rover Evoque
The 2021 Evoque's updates are largely centered around available tech features, with the introduction of Pivi Pro headlining the changes, but it also be noted that its U.S. lineup is being simplified to just the 246-horsepower turbocharged I4 engine for the launch of the 2021 model. The Evoque also gets a new dual-SIM modem which allows it to act as both a Wi-Fi hotspot and receive over-the-air software updates from Land Rover.
"Infotainment in the Range Rover Evoque has been transformed with the introduction of our new electric vehicle architecture and Pivi infotainment," said Alex Heslop, Director of Electrical Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover. "The new hardware and software means Evoque is more digitally connected than
ever. Our customers can now benefit from a system as responsive and easy to use as a smartphone, which actually improves over time, thanks to software-over-the-air updates."
Land Rover is also making more of the Evoque's safety features standard, including a surround-view camera. The same advanced cabin air filtration system now offered on the Velar is optional here as well.
2021 Discovery Sport
The 2021 Land Rover Discovery Sport benefits from some of the same updates outlined for the Range Rover Evoque and Velar. Like the Evoque, it will be offered (at least initially) with only the 246-horsepower turbocharged I4 engine (designated the SP 250).
Like the other models, it gets the latest Pivi Pro infotainment system, and it also receives the same dual-SIM modem being offered on the Evoque, enabling the same over-the-air update capabilities. Notably, the Discovery Sport also gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard equipment for 2021.
The 2021 Discovery Sport also gains the advanced cabin air filtration system offered elsewhere in the Land Rover lineup, and its standard safety suite will now include a surround-view camera, traffic sign recognition, lane keeping assist and a driver fatigue monitoring system.