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Land Rover News


WED 02 JUNE 2010

 - The Range Rover celebrates its 40th birthday on 17 June 2010
 - The Range Rover was the world's first fully capable luxury 4x4
 - There have been three generations of Range Rover: the original (Classic) in 1970, second-generation (P38a) in 1994 and third-generation (L322) in 2001
 - Second model line – Range Rover Sport – launched in 2005 became Land Rover's biggest selling vehicle worldwide in 2007
 - Third model line to be revealed at Paris Motor Show 2010

"Land Rover has a unique history of product innovation. But the Range Rover probably remains the most historically significant vehicle we have ever launched. It is one of the most important vehicles in the history of motoring."

Phil Popham, Land Rover Managing Director.


The Range Rover celebrates its 40th birthday on 17 June, 2010. One of the most significant vehicles in the history of motoring, the Range Rover was the world's first vehicle as good on-road as off-road. It was the first fully capable luxury 4x4 and was a milestone in the development of the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle).

There have been three generations of Range Rover. The original, now known as the Classic, went on sale in 1970 and continued in production, with numerous upgrades and a multiplicity of variants, for just over 25 years.

The second-generation vehicle, known as the P38a, went on sale in 1994 and was replaced in 2001 by the current model. The continuing success of the Range Rover ensured that other premium makers jumped into the booming luxury SUV market. The latest version has enjoyed higher annual sales than any previous models and continues to be popular around the world. Sold around the world, from London to Los Angeles, Sydney to Shanghai, Turin to Tokyo, the Range Rover remains the ultimate choice for the luxury SUV customer.

"The Range Rover is really four vehicles in one," says managing director Phil Popham. "It's a seven-days-a-week luxury motor car; a leisure vehicle that will range far and wide on the highways and noways of the world; a high performance car for long distance travel; and a working cross-country vehicle."

From princes to politicians, from rock gods to rock climbers, from footballers to farmers, the Range Rover has always appealed to a diverse group of customers.

A second model line, the Range Rover Sport, was launched in 2005, aimed at more sports-oriented driver-focused customers. It has been a great success, and in 2007 was Land Rover's biggest selling vehicle worldwide.

Later this year, a further member of the Range Rover family will be added, taking the portfolio to three model lines. The new vehicle will be smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient, tying in perfectly with the Range Rover brand's commitment to environmental sustainability. Yet it will be no less premium, no less luxurious, and no less special than the other Range Rover models.

A Brief History

1966 Work began on the first Range Rover prototype, known as the '100-inch  station wagon'

1970 The original two-door Range Rover – known as the Classic – goes on sale

1971 Range Rover receives the RAC Dewar award for outstanding technical  achievement

1972 The Range Rover is the first vehicle to cross the Darien Gap on a British  Army Trans-America expedition

1974 Range Rover completes west to east Sahara desert expedition – 7,500  miles  in 100 days

1977 A modified Range Rover wins the 4x4 class in the London-Sydney  Marathon, a gruelling 30,000 km (18,750 miles) event and the longest ever  speed-based car rally

1979 A specially modified Range Rover wins the first Paris-Dakar rally
 (a Range Rover wins again in 1981)

1981 First production four-door Range Rover appears along with the first  factory-produced limited-edition Range Rover – the 'In Vogue'

1982 Automatic transmission becomes available on Range Rover

1983 Range Rover 5-speed manual gearbox is introduced

1985  The diesel-powered Range Rover 'Bullet' breaks 27 speed records,  including a diesel record for averaging more than 100mph for 24 hours

1987 Range Rover launched in North America

1989 Range Rover is the world's first 4x4 to be fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes

1990 Limited Edition CSK – named after founder Charles Spencer King – is  launched as a sportier Range Rover

1992 Range Rover Classic is the world's first 4x4 to be fitted with electronic  traction control (ETC)

1992 Long-wheelbase LSE (known as County LWB in the US) launched

1992 Automatic electronic air suspension introduced, a world first for a 4x4

1994 Second-generation (P38a) Range Rover goes on sale

1996 Range Rover Classic bows out after total production of 317,615 units

1999 Limited Edition Range Rover Linley appears at London Motor Show

2001 All-New Range Rover (L322) launched

2002 Half-millionth Range Rover produced at the Solihull plant

2005 Second model line – the Range Rover Sport – launched

2006 Terrain Response and TDV8 diesel introduced

2009 Range Rover features all-new LR-V8 5.0 and 5.0 supercharged petrol  engines and technology updates

2010 Range Rover celebrates its 40th anniversary

2010 All-New compact Range Rover to be revealed at Paris Motor Show


From princes to politicians, from rock gods to rock climbers, from footballers to fashion models, the Range Rover has always appealed to celebrity owners. They have included:

 - The Queen, who had one of the very first production Classics. She has also owned second- and third-generation models
- Prince Charles, who has had his latest Range Rover converted to run on biodiesel
- Princess Anne
- Prince Andrew
- Prince Rainier of Monaco, owner of an early Classic
- President Bongo of Gabon, one of the first Classic customers
- Johnny Cash, the country music legend, whose Classic appeared in a French production of The Jungle Book. It was matt black embellished all over with brightly coloured hand-painted jungle plants and animals
- James Bond. Range Rovers have appeared in many 007 films, but in Quantum of Solace, James Bond (Daniel Craig) drove a Range Rover Sport in the Bolivian desert
- Peter Sellers. The British comedian was one of many celebrities in the '70s and '80s who drove customised Wood and Pickett-modified Range Rovers. They were more luxuriously specified than the contemporary Range Rover, and were precursors of the Range Rover Vogue model
- Madonna. Her wedding car at Skibo Castle in Scotland was a second-generation Range Rover. She and Guy Ritchie also owned a Range Rover Sport
- Pope John Paul II. The Pontiff's 'popemobile' was a converted Classic, featuring bullet proof glass
- Billy Connolly, comedian and Range Rover Classic owner
- Paul McCartney, ex-Beatle and Classic owner
- Bruce Springsteen, rock god, and The Boss
- David Gower had a special edition CSK Range Rover. He now has a new Series Three.
- Michael Phelps, winner of 14 Olympic gold medals, and perhaps the greatest swimmer of all time
- Jane Fonda, actress and Classic owner
- Michael J Fox, actor and Classic driver
- Rod Stewart, pop star
- Jennifer Aniston, actress, best known as Rachel in Friends
- Michael Jackson had a number of Range Rovers, including a Classic. When he died, the Jackson family travelled to the funeral in a convoy of 10 black Range Rovers
- Bruce Willis, star of Die Hard, a Classic and third-generation Range Rover
- Jack Nicholson, actor
- Midge Ure, Ultravox frontman, owner of 'tatty old Range Rover' (a Classic)
- Mike Tyson, retired boxer and former world heavyweight champ
- Jeremy Clarkson. The Top Gear star owns a Range Rover and recently proclaimed it 'best car in the world' in The Sunday Times
- The Sultan of Brunei. One-time 'richest man in the world' has many Range Rovers, including a custom-made gold-plated model for official ceremonies
- David Beckham, frequently photographed behind the wheel of his Range Rover Sport. Range Rovers are also owned by other eminent footballers including John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Jermaine Defoe
- Meg Ryan, actress
- Richard Branson, Virgin boss and owner of second- and third-generation models
- Britney Spears, singer
- Angelina Jolie, actress. In the first Lara Croft Tomb Raider movie, she drove a Land Rover Defender
- Miley Cyrus, star of Hannah Montana
- Pamela Anderson, actress
- Greg Norman, golfer
- Mel Gibson, actor
- Michael Douglas, actor
- Ryan Sheckler, skateboarder and MTV reality show star
- Michael Jordan, basketball legend
- Lauren Conrad, TV star and fashion designer
- Pete Wentz, musician and bassist for Fall Out Boy
- Keira Knightley, actress
- Nicole Kidman, Australian actress
- Tom Cruise, actor
- Hilary Duff, actress, best known in TV series Lizzie McGuire, and singer
- Kobe Bryant, basketball star
- Eva Longoria, TV star, best known for Desperate Housewives
- Rachel Bilson, actress, star of TV teen drama The OC
- Kiefer Sutherland, actor, son of Donald, and star of TV series 24
- Bow Wow, rapper and actor
- Gwen Stefani, singer and fashion designer
- Dr Mae Jemison, former astronaut
- Lee Pearson, Paralympic athlete, winner of nine gold medals in dressage events
- Anthony Pitt, Australian fashion designer, who started his Academee brand from the lounge of his Bondi Beach flat
- Trevor Baylis, inventor of the wind-up radio
- Sonya Kraus, German TV presenter, former ballerina and fashion designer

…and many more 

Editors Note:

  Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true 'breadth of capability' across the model range. Defender, Freelander, Discovery, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover each define the world's 4x4 sectors, with 78% of this model range exported to over 140 countries. Land Rover employs 9,500 people and supports a further 40,000 jobs supported in the supply chain.
  Land Rover is committed to addressing the challenges of climate change and since September 2006 carbon dioxide generated by Land Rover manufacturing activities and UK customer vehicle use has been balanced through an industry leading offset programme run by Climate Care.

For further information please contact:

James Scrimshaw
Public Affairs Department
Land Rover Australia
Phone: +61 2 9020 1773

Tim KriegerMarketing and Public Affairs Manager Land Rover Australia Phone: +61 2 9020 1505 Email: Website:

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