Norway is one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet, spanning more than 50,000 islands with 83,000km of coastline.
Connecting its 5.4 million inhabitants are more than 18,000 bridges measuring over 482km. Even more astonishing are the 900 tunnels beneath the seabed and mountains, running a combined of 756km.
It’s also the home of The Troll’s Ladder, one of the world’s most celebrated roads. Named after the mythology surrounding the mysterious Troll, it comprises 11 sensational hairpin turns on your 859m ascent – where you’ll also pass some huge rocks, some 20m high.
Trolls walk behind these giant stones, watching you and waiting. That’s what the locals told us at the Range Rover Velar launch in 2017.
My journey with Velar goes back even further, to the London Design Museum earlier in the same year.
Social media channels went into meltdown when I posted pictures of the vehicle, and in less than 24 hours more than 13 million people had grabbed a peek.
The Velar was nothing less than a game-changing design, best described by its outspoken designer, Gerry McGovern, who called it “the greatest demonstration of modernity thus far”.
But it didn’t blow me away in Norway, at least not on the road. They well and truly nailed the premium feeling, as well as the design, but there was something missing.
It didn’t quite measure up to the Range Rover Sport in the handling department, nor its Range Rover stablemates when it came to outright luxury. A jack of all trades and master of none was my takeaway from that launch event.
For a while, the most powerful Velar variants were the D300 and P380 petrol, neither of which quite cut it.
You were still better off with a Range Rover Sport or a BMW X5 M50d, if getting where you wanted to go quickly was a priority.
Three years on, it still looks fresh out of the design studio – and any love I might have lost all but vanished the moment I caught a glimpse of the latest and greatest version; the Range Rover Velar SV Autobiography Dynamic Edition. A bit of a mouthful, I agree.
I’m still confused about the colour of this thing. Jaguar Land Rover call it SVO Premium Byron Blue Satin. I’m calling it matte grey, which must make me hopelessly colour blind. I don’t see a single blue hue across the entire vehicle. Do you?
How much does the Range Rover Velar SV Autobiography cost?
It’s the Velar flagship, so there are no bargains in this rarefied segment. List price is $176,412 before on-road costs.
Despite being chock-a-block full of kit, there’s also a bevy of options on offer – and our tester was fitted with a bunch, including that sexy paint. Yours, for the low price of just $14,600…
Other extras like the steel weave carbon fibre trim finisher ($3020), head-up display ($2420), the driver assist pack with a 360-degree surround camera, adaptive cruise control, and steering assist ($2223), and 22-inch gloss dark grey wheels ($1690).
It was also equipped with the convenience pack ($1390), adding rear seat remote levers, a load space partition net, the activity key, and a power socket pack.
And on top of those items our tester also had privacy glass ($890), an illuminated metal load space scuff plate ($640), all-terrain progress control ($640), and Terrain Response 2 with a dynamic drive mode ($430).