After almost five decades of Range Rover history worldwide, Land Rover is showcasing the evolution of its iconic luxury SUV through four generations with a unique animation lasting 120 seconds. The specially commissioned video marks key dates in the history of the legendary SUV, showing how today’s Range Rover retains many of the design hallmarks established by the 1970 Classic as its latest derivative, the SVAutobiography Dynamic, begins sales in North America and around the world.
Ever since its debut in 1970 the Range Rover has been a benchmark for refinement, industrial design and engineering innovation. Range Rover has evolved into the world’s most elegant and sophisticated SUV in almost five decades; achieving more than one million sales (1.7 million to date) along the way. Trademark features including its ‘floating’ roof, distinctive clamshell hood, continuous belt line and practical split tailgate all pay homage to the groundbreaking original from 1970.
The Range Rover story begins with the 26 pre-production models, which wore Velar badges in an effort to hide its identity – velare means to ‘veil’ or ‘cover’ in Italian – made up of letters from the ‘Land Rover’ badge that usually adorn the front and rear of a vehicle. Next comes the timeless Range Rover Classic two-door as the images showcase successive generations, finishing with the most powerful derivative, the 550-hp SVAutobiography Dynamic built by the Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division.
“Range Rover has, over time, achieved iconic design status through a progressive evolution of its unique DNA, culminating in a vehicle of peerless distinction,” said Land Rover Chief Design Officer, Gerry McGovern. “From its sense of evolution and sophisticated sensibilities inherent in its interior design, to its understated yet powerful exterior proportions, Range Rover stands alone. There's simply nothing else like it.”
When it was first launched in 1970, Range Rover was one of the first vehicles to deliver permanent all-wheel drive while many others were still selectable. In 1971, the original 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; it has been at the forefront of design and engineering innovation ever since.
A four-door variant of the original Range Rover was introduced in 1981, quickly followed by the first application of an automatic transmission in the model line in 1982. In 1987, Land Rover introduced the Range Rover model to the North American market with sales starting on March 16, 1987. In 1989, the luxury SUV was the first 4x4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and in 1992 it became the first SUV in the world fitted with electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension.
Engineering firsts continued in 2012, when Range Rover was counted as the world’s first all-aluminum SUV. More recently, in 2016, the luxury SUV was the first vehicle to employ All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC); an advanced Land Rover driver assistance technology, which effectively acts as a sort of off-road cruise control, helping maintain speed on a variety of terrains with essentially no driver inputs to the gas or brake pedals.
The last model included in the animation, the SVAutobiography Dynamic, shares its powerful V8 engine with the acclaimed Range Rover Sport SVR. Specially calibrated to produce more than 500 ft-lbs. of torque, the engine in the SVAutobiography Dynamic helps accelerate the vehicle from 0-60mph in only 5.1 seconds1. Interior enhancements including diamond quilted leather upholstery with contrast stitching deliver elevated refinement and desirability. Sales of the latest Range Rover kick off this month, on the eve of the brand’s 30th anniversary in the United States.
Since its launch 48 years ago, Land Rover has sold more than 1,700,000 of its flagship vehicles around the world, earning a reputation as the ultimate luxury all-terrain SUV; its unrivalled breadth of capability and elegance make it a favourite of royalty, business leaders, politicians and celebrities the world over.
Range Rover is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, and exported to more than 170 global markets.
The evolution of the Range Rover is highlighted with 10 iterations spanning almost 50 years, including:
− 1969 Range Rover Prototype (Velar)
− 1970 Range Rover Classic (two-door)
− 1973 Range Rover Classic (Suffix C)
− 1981 Range Rover Classic (four-door)
− 1994 Second-generation Range Rover (P38a)
− 2001 Third-generation Range Rover
− 2012 Fourth-generation Range Rover
− 2014 Fourth-generation Range Rover Long Wheelbase
− 2015 Range Rover SVAutobiography
− 2016 Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic
ADDITIONAL NOTES: Range Rover Timeline
1970 Original two-door Range Rover (the Classic) goes on sale
1972 Range Rover crosses Darien Gap on the 18,000-mile British Army Trans-America expedition. It took 99 days to cover 250 miles of dense jungle
1977 Range Rover wins 4x4 class in the 30,000km (18,750-mile) London-Sydney Marathon - the longest ever speed-based car rally
1979 A Range Rover wins the inaugural Paris-Dakar rally (and again in 1981)
1981 First production four-door Range Rover appears along with the first factory limited edition - the 'In Vogue'
1982 Automatic transmission introduced on Range Rover
1985 Diesel-powered 'Bullet' Range Rover breaks 27 speed records
1987 Range Rover launched in North America
1989 Range Rover is world's first 4x4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes
1992 Range Rover is world's first 4x4 to be fitted with electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension
1994 Second-generation Range Rover introduced
2001 Third-generation Range Rover introduced
2002 500,000th Range Rover produced at the Solihull plant
2012 Fourth-generation Range Rover introduced – the first all-aluminium SUV
2015 Exclusive Range Rover SVAutobiography launched in New York
1 Always follow local speed limits.