Land Rover has always been about embracing challenges, big and small. And it’s these challenges that have given rise to innovation.
These stories are just some of the individual parts of technology and engineering that were born out of the challenges we’ve tackled over the years, in order to deliver a driving experience that is second to none.
Feel free to explore each decade for a more detailed view and understanding of the technology that lives on in our vehicles today.
Here’s to the past 70 — and 70 more into the future.
1948: FROM BEACH TO FARM TO ANYWHERE
PERMANENT FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE
Featured Model: Series I
A sketch in the sand of a Welsh beach by the Land Rover's chief designer at the time, Maurice Wilks, led to the development of our first legendary model.
Inspired by the military vehicles used in World War II, but with an emphasis on agricultural use, the Series I introduced permanent four-wheel drive, allowing farmers to cross through muddy bogs, and making for a rural utility vehicle that could handle it all.
A METAL FOR THE AGES
ALUMINUM UNIBODY CHASSIS
Featured Model: Series II
Land Rover is a pioneer in the use of aluminum to form the core structure, body and framework of our vehicles.
The lightweight, less top-heavy metal allowed for a lower center of gravity, better fuel efficiency and improved off- and on-road performance. The corrosion-resistant nature of the metal also provided a superior alternative during a time when rust-proofing wasn’t yet available. It’s for these very reasons that aluminum has now become state of the art in the industry.
SAFETY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE
FOUR-WHEEL DISC BRAKES LEAD TO FOUR-WHEEL, FOUR-CHANNEL ABS
Featured Model: Range Rover
With the introduction of the Range Rover in 1970 came the first SUV with four-wheel disc brakes. A major advancement, but one that had yet to prevent wheel locking and skidding.
In 1990, the Range Rover evolved to include the first four-wheel, four-channel ABS (anti-lock braking system), allowing for optimum performance in four-wheel drive, both on- and off-road — at any speed, in any condition.
HANDLING ANY AND ALL TERRAIN
COIL SPRING SUSPENSION
Featured Model: Land Rover One Ten (AKA Defender 110)
1983 saw the launch of the Land Rover One Ten and a move away from leaf spring to coil spring suspension.
The combination of Land Rover off-roading heritage, along with the new, modernized features of the One Ten, proved successful. The coil springs offered drivers better off-road capability and handling, increased cargo capacity, as well as a more comfortable ride.
OVERCOMING CHALLENGES OF ALL LEVELS
THE QUEEN MARY STACKS
Featured Model: Land Rover Discovery
For the 1990 Camel Trophy in Siberia, snorkels were used to protect Land Rover engines from incoming water, allowing the teams to cross the unforgiving rivers.
That kind of engineering was modified and adapted for use in today's Land Rover vehicles, where our “Queen Mary Stacks” air intake system allows the vehicles to easily traverse 3 feet of water.
CONTROL THROUGH ANY DECLINE
HILL DESCENT CONTROL
Featured Model: Land Rover Freelander
Originally developed for the Freelander, which lacked low-range gears, this first-of-its-kind safety technology allowed for descent on rough and slippery terrain, without the need to engage a single pedal.
The revolutionary braking system, which has since been adopted by other automotive manufacturers, has enabled off- and on-road performance at an entirely new level.
2018: CAPABILITY WITH COMPOSURE
Featured Model: Range Rover Velar
Rigorous testing across the world, across all different types of terrain, has resulted in the extraordinarily adaptive suspension seen in our vehicles today.
First introduced on the 1993 Range Rover, and refined up through the current Range Rover Velar, our innovative air suspension system enables the bottom half of our vehicles to do all the work, while the top remains perpetually composed — regardless of the terrain.