Range Rover, the iconic British SUV brand, has completed 45 years since its introduction. To celebrate the occasion, Land Rover brought together four generations of Range Rover models to show the evolution of the vehicle over 45 years.
Over the last 45 years Range Rover has delivered a series of industry firsts as it has evolved into the exquisite SUV. Having introduced a host of advanced technologies, many of which have since become industry standards, 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.
Now in its fourth generation, the Range Rover sits at the pinnacle of the Land Rover brand and matches class-leading off-road capability with a range of petrol, diesel and Hybrid powertrains to deliver an unrivaled blend of refinement, comfort and capability.
The current fourth generation model was launched in 2012 and was the first SUV in the world to feature a lightweight all-aluminium body, which brought enhanced efficiency to the range. At the New York International Auto Show in March, Land Rover revealed a new Range Rover flagship in the form of the exclusive SVAutobiography and the landmark six millionth Land Rover was a Range Rover Vogue SE, which rolled off the Solihull production line in April.
Last year, Range Rover became the first vehicle to feature Land Rover’s innovative All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) system – a world first technology designed to enhance off-road capability by automatically maintaining an ultra-low crawl speed over obstacles, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering the vehicle.
Timeline – 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 4×4 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 4×4 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 4×4 to be fitted with Electronic Traction Control
- 1992 Long-wheelbase LSE (known as County LWB in the US) launched
- 1992 Automatic electronic air suspension introduced, a world first for a 4×4
- 1994 Second-generation (P38a) Range Rover launched
- 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 Third-generation (L322) Range Rover 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 5.0-litre V8 and 5.0-litre supercharged petrol engines
- 2010 Range Rover celebrates its 40th anniversary,
- 2011 Third model line – the Range Rover Evoque – goes on sale
- 2012 Fourth-generation (L405) Range Rover launched – the world’s first all-aluminium SUV
- 2013 Long-wheelbase Autobiography Black Edition unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show
- 2014 Long-wheelbase Range Rover Hybrid makes its world debut in China
- 2015 Range Rover SV Autobiography launched at New York International Auto Show. 6,000,000th Land Rover produced is a Range Rover LWB SE Vogue destined for China. Autobiography designation used to identify flagship models celebrates 21st anniversary