It may not look different, but big changes can be found under the skin.

Land Rover has updated the Range Rover Velar for 2021 with new mild-hybrid engines and a fresh plug-in hybrid model. The luxury SUV will also benefit from the addition of Land Rover’s latest Pivi infotainment system, as well as a new noise cancellation system designed to improve refinement.

Exterior changes are few and far between, but stepping into the cabin shows you much has changed. There’s a new steering wheel, for example, and the new ‘Pivi’ touchscreen. Designed to be easy to use, the system has a simplified interface and new graphics, as well as faster response times. A dedicated power source ensures rapid start times, and over-the-air updates mean drivers get the latest version of the system without visiting a dealer.

Other tech updates are less obvious, including the noise cancellation system that monitors vibrations from the road surface, then works out the opposite phase sound wave needed to remove the noise. The effect is, by Land Rover’s own admission, subtle, but it cuts interior noise by four decibels.

But the biggest changes of all are in the engine bay. Land Rover has fitted mild-hybrid technology across the range, allowing cars to harvest energy normally lost under braking, then redeploy it to help the engine when it’s under load, helping to reduce fuel consumption.

The £46,110 starting price gets you the entry-level D200 2-litre diesel engine, which produces 201 bhp. That’s joined by the 3-litre D300 diesel with 296 bhp, which permits a 6.1-second dash to 60 mph yet still returns up to 37.2 mpg on the official economy test. The Velar will also be offered with the P400 six-cylinder, 3-litre petrol engine with 395 bhp.

2021 Range Rover Velar P400e

But the most important new addition is the P400e plug-in hybrid, which teams a 2-litre petrol engine with an electric motor. The 17.1 kWh lithium-ion battery enables a 33-mile electric range, while the 398 bhp combination of petrol and electric power allows the car to hit 60 mph after just 5.1 seconds.

As well as a choice of engines, the new Velar also comes with a new specification option. The Velar Edition is based on the R-Dynamic SE specification, but it comes with a black contrast roof and 20-inch black alloy wheels. You also get a choice of Hakuba Silver, Santorini Black and Eiger Grey paint jobs, as well as the new Lantau Bronze metallic colour.

2021 Range Rover Velar P400e

“The Range Rover Velar’s name and bloodline dates back to the code name of the original Range Rover prototypes,” said Nick Rogers, executive director of product engineering at Jaguar Land Rover. “It has been fifty years since the introduction of the pioneering Range Rover in 1970, and now every family member is electrified with our awesome plug-in hybrid technology.

“Electrified powertrains and cleaner mild hybrid diesel engines mean the Velar is an even more efficient and sustainable option for our customers. Jaguar Land Rover’s new Electrical Vehicle Architecture – EVA 2.0 – supports the new Pivi and Pivi Pro infotainment, as well as Software-Over-The-Air (SOTA), and a whole suite of advanced driver assistance systems, cameras and clean-air technology, making the Range Rover Velar cleaner, safer and smarter than ever before and one of the most technologically advanced luxury SUVs in the world.”

Gallery: 2021 Range Rover Velar P400e