On 17 June, 2010, the Range Rover nameplate will be 40 years old and as part of the celebrations, Land Rover has released a short video showing all three generations of the luxury 4×4.
“Land Rover has a unique history of product innovation,” says Phil Popham, Land Rover Managing Director. “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.”
The story of the Range Rover began in 1970 with the launch of the original model, now known as the Classic, which remained in production with numerous upgrades for just over 25 years. It was succeeded in 1994 by a second-generation model, internally known as the P38a, which itself was replaced in 2001 by the current version (L322).
In 2005, Land Rover added a second model line to the range, the sportier Range Rover Sport which proved to be a success becoming the British firm’s best selling model in 2007.
At this year’s Paris Motor Show in October, Land Rover will add a third member to the Range Rover family, the production version of the three-door LRX concept that will be the first model in the history of the brand to be offered with the option of two-wheel drive, although only four-wheel drive versions will be available at launch.
A Brief History of the Range Rover [from Land Rover]
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 (ETC).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 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.