We test-drive world’s most beautiful car amidst rust belt. Read more from Editor John Hill.
Admiring glances followed our gleaming Range Rover Velar as the slick SUV purred out of the Canary Wharf and cleverly joined the M 25, missing the dreaded Dartford Crossing. It did not take long to get familiar with the controls of what has been dubbed The World’s Most Beautiful vehicle.
Certainly this ultra-chic, extremely comfortable and so easy-to-drive luxury motor from Britain’s biggest car maker was living up to its name as we headed North on the old-faithful A1 – destination New Scotland.
I prefer this mainly-dualled, part-motorway, old Great North Road as it is less prone to jams (we thought) and just as fast to get to your destination. We had been warned about fierce gales and rainstorms, and they surely arrived and blasted our screens us as if we were at sea when we passed Grantham, and after our flying start we were blown back to a grid-locked, road-works single-lane shambles on an Osborne-holed highway. Ironic as we were on the way to see the world’s-first-ever tarmac road – invented in Ayrshire’s Burns Country.
The fierce storm certainly halted our flying start and as traffic built, and we were sometimes held back by Rover’s in-car engine manager slowing us down if the vehicle we were following slowed.
The storm lasted several hours as we limped through Robin Hood country in Lincolnshire, then crawled through Yorkshire (finding the Velar’s controls a dream to operate and we particularly enjoyed a concert on Radio 3, sans adverts) At Scotch Corner we hurriedly topped up, and found our big beast was recording 45 mpg. And here in Nissan country we got more admiring glances and compliments in accents I never understand.