New Range Rover Velar HST offers 396bhp 3.0-litre straight-six petrol power

We’ve seen the HST badge appear on the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport in recent years and now Land Rover has given its Velar SUV a similar sporty makeover.

Based on the R-Dynamic model, the new range-topping HST variant in the Velar range offers a choice of two powertrains. Buyers can opt for either the 296bhp D300 diesel six-cylinder mild-hybrid engine found in the Evoque HST or the more powerful 395bhp P400 petrol six-cylinder mild-hybrid unit used in the Range Rover Sport HST. Whichever powertrain you opt for, you’ll get an all-wheel drive system and an automatic gearbox (nine-speed for the diesel and eight-speed for the petrol).

Exclusive to the Velar HST is Land Rover’s Arroios Grey exterior paint and 21-inch gloss black split-spoke alloy wheels. The paint and wheels are coupled with a black contrast roof and the availability of the brand’s ‘Black Pack’ option. As it’s based on the R-Dynamic, the HST gets privacy glass, Black Suedecloth headlining and a sliding panoramic roof.

Electronic air suspension with adaptive dampers means the HST can continuously monitor the road surface (or off-road surface) and driving style to adjust the vehicle’s suspension and chassis accordingly. Drivers can also manually tailor the driving experience with Land Rover’s configurable dynamics system.

The Velar also features driver assistance technology in the shape of adaptive cruise control with steering assist. This is available as part of Land Rover’s Driver Assist Pack and makes automatic steering adjustments in order to keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane it’s travelling in.

Land Rover’s latest Pivi Pro infotainment system is displayed on a 10-inch touchscreen and features Amazon Alexa integration, while there’s also 12.3-inch digital dash for the driver.

No performance details have been revealed for the Velar HST yet, but expect the diesel version to sprint from 0-62mph in around 6.5 seconds and the petrol to be roughly a second quicker. Both should offer a 130mph top speed.

Order books for the HST are now open with prices starting from £69,865 for the diesel and £73,815 for the petrol model.

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