45 years ago the first Range Rover was revealed to the to the world. Now in its fourth generation it has evolved to become the world’s most desirable SUV.
Constant innovation, including the most recent Terrain Response™ 2 and All-Terrain Progress Control mean that, along with luxury, the petrol, diesel and Hybrid vehicles continue to offer class leading capability.
From the first day the Classic Range Rover was revealed in 1970, right through to this year’s New York International Auto Show, where the SVAutobiography was revealed, the Range Rover has remained at the pinnacle of SUV luxury, design and capability.
RANGE ROVER: ICONIC LUXURY SUV CELEBRATING 45 YEARS OF BRITISH DESIGN
The Range Rover story began in the 1960’s, as Land Rover looked to revolutionise the growing 4 x 4 leisure market. Production of the first prototype began in 1966, with the first model being released to the world’s media to critical acclaim 4 years later.
The first generation Classic (1970-1994) was originally only available as a two door when it went on sale in 1970. During its 25 year lifespan the Classic continued to evolve with the introduction of the four-door model in 1981 and an automatic gearbox in 1982. The first diesel Range Rover arrived in 1986.
During these early years Range Rover’s unrivalled all-terrain capability was continually put to the test. It went on to become the first vehicle to complete an 18,000 mile Trans America expedition, which included a crossing of the perilous Darien Gap. The Range Rover’s reputation was further solidified by winning the inaugural Paris-Dakar rally in 1979. Then, in 1985, the diesel-powered Range Rover ‘Bullet’ broke 27 speed records.
The second generation Range Rover arrived in 1994 and was instantly recognisable thanks to its iconic silhouette, floating roof, clamshell bonnet, practical split tailgate and continuous waistline; all of which endure to this day. The vehicle also displayed an even more luxurious interior without compromising on its on-road ability and off-road capability.
During the second generation an enhanced engine line-up was introduced, with a 2.5-litre diesel and 3.9 and 4.6-litre versions of the V8 petrol, providing greater performance than ever before.
In 1999, ten ‘Linley’ special edition Range Rovers were made. Inspired by the furniture designer Lord Linley, the vehicle featured black paintwork with matching black leather upholstery, deep-pile carpets and piano black interior trim. It was one of the first luxury cars to feature satellite navigation and even included a television.
The third generation Range Rover (2001-2012) delivered a wealth of improvements on all predecessors during its 11 year period. The interiors of these vehicles were inspired by high-end yachts, fine furniture and first class airline seats, providing more space and luxury.
In 2010 Range Rover became the first vehicle to provide a ‘dual-view’ infotainment display, which allowed the driver to keep tabs on the sat nav instructions while the passenger watched a DVD.
In its 45th year the Range Rover continues to define luxury and capability and will continue to do so in the future.