I DON'T think I've experienced so much attention for any of the cars I have driven as the Range Rover Velar attracted recently.
In fairness, it does look amazing and has scooped an award for being the best-looking car on the planet. But, when I said it was a Velar I was met with some very blank expressions.
As I explained it was the new Range Rover that plugged the gap between the incredibly successful Evoque and muscular Sport models the penny began to drop but judging by the quality of the car it should be a name that is instantly recognisable. Maybe that will simply take time.
In fact, the Velar name goes back to the 1960s when it was the codename for the original prototype Range Rover model, but the new Velar, which is based on the aluminium platform of the F-Pace, is as modern as they come.
The Range Rover Velar is guaranteed to stop on-lookers dead in their tracks thanks to its sporty profile complete with rakish roofline, privacy glass, sloping grille, 21-inch gloss black finish wheels, Matrix LED headlights with signature daytime running lights, panoramic sunroof and, in my case, Aruba Gold paintwork with black roof.
There appears to be a lack of door handles until you unlock the car and they slide out from the body in one super smooth movement. These handles feature subtle illumination and retract back into the doors again when the car is locked or being driven at speeds above 5mph.
Once you take your seat inside the beautifully-designed cabin it's impossible not to be wowed by the ultra-modern interior with touchscreens and smooth surfaces galore and a wealth of on-board technology at your disposal.
There is a Touch Pro Duo system that introduces a pair of 10-inch touchscreens which burst into life when the ignition is turned on and it's from these screens that all the car's systems and infotainment functions are accessed.
The top screen controls the likes of the sound system, sat nav and telephone while the lower screen, along with a couple of dials, is where you will access features such as the heating and terrain response system.
Both screens are really simple to use and look amazing. It's like taking your seat on a modern-day Starship Enterprise! There is a lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which is a bit of a surprise, but mobile phones can be connected via the USB ports and Bluetooth.
Comfort levels within the car are excellent and there is ample room in the back for three adults to travel in comfort.
The sloping roof design does mean the rear headroom may be a little restricted but only for passengers well over six foot. Up front, the driver and passenger are treated to seats that boast 20-way power adjustment, can be heated or cooled and even offer massage functions.
I particularly liked the way the heater controls could be applied to either the seat section, the back-rest or both combined.
When it comes to storage, the range Rover Velar has a boot capacity ranging from 558 litres to an impressive 1,731 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
The 2.0-litre 300hp petrol-driven Velar in HSE trim was priced at £65,060 (£70,885 with options fitted) and it could sprint from 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds, maxed out at 145mph and, according to official figures, can achieve combined fuel economy of 36.2mpg with carbon emissions of 178g/km.
When it comes to performance, the Range Rover Velar is an absolute corker to drive.
The acceleration through the automatic eight-speed transmission is beautifully smooth and there are steering wheel mounted paddles if you fancy dabbling with the gear switches. In town the all-round visibility is good thank to the elevated driving position, and despite its dimensions, the car is quite nimble and easy to manoeuvre.
Then out on the open road, it really bursts into life. The road-holding is confident and assured with minimal body roll even when pushed hard into bends.
The steering is fine-tuned and the suspension successfully irons out any bumps and dips along the way. Very little engine, road surface or wind noise filters through into the cabin, but if it does, simply crank up the volume on the 16-speaker Meridian surround sound music system and all is forgiven.
Although we didn't venture from the Tarmac in the Velar, it does feature Land Rover's accomplished Terrain Response system along with a generous list of safety features and driver aids, so it certainly won't be fazed by any sudden changes to the weather patterns.