In the world of luxury vehicles, the Range Rover has always stood apart as peerless and enduring. Its unique and pioneering sensibilities together with an unrivalled engineering approach have been the intrinsic values which our customers have admired since the first of the breed was revealed in 1970
LAND ROVER CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER- PROF GERRY MCGOVERN OBE
2020 marks 50 years since the first Range Rover was revealed, but the story goes back even further. During the mid 1960s, in a bid to revolutionise the growing 4×4 leisure market, the Rover car company’s engineering chief for new vehicle projects, Charles Spencer ‘Spen’ King (nephew of the founders of Land Rover), hatched a plan to combine the comfort and on-road ability of a Rover saloon with the off-road ability of a Land Rover.
Development of the first 100-inch station wagon prototype began during the late 1960s, with the first model being released to the world’s media to critical acclaim in 1970. Its blend of ability – motorway cruising, off-roading, and even towing in style and comfort – ensured its instant popularity. The original Classic model was cited as an ‘exemplary work of industrial design’ when it became the first vehicle to be displayed at the world famous Louvre Museum in Paris in 1971.
Over its 50 year lifespan, the Range Rover has achieved many world firsts and completed numerous impressive feats. It was the first SUV to feature a permanent 4WD system when it was launched, and in 1989 was the world’s first 4×4 to be fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes. Later in 1992 it became the world’s first 4×4 to be fitted with electronic traction control (ETC) and automatic electronic air suspension – ensuring the refined driving feel Range Rover is so famous for, both on and off-road. In 2012, the latest generation Range Rover became the world’s first SUV to feature an all-aluminium lightweight construction, making it lighter, stronger and more efficient.
It has crossed the notoriously impassable ‘Darien Gap,’ was the first vehicle to ever be displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and has even won the Paris-Dakar rally – twice. No other vehicle combines the levels of luxury, comfort and sophistication with off-road capability and on-road performance like Range Rover.
With its clamshell bonnet, distinctive floating roof, split tailgate and trademark front fender vents, the Range Rover of today can still trace its roots back to the 1970 original. In its golden anniversary year it is now the most efficient, connected, luxurious and capable yet.