It has become one of the most iconic cars capable of getting the job done and doing so in luxury, and today is the day it celebrates 45 years since its launch.
The Range Rover first revealed to members of the media in 1970 on June 17, becoming England’s preliminary off-road vehicle that focused on luxury. As a release from the marque today tells us, there have been four generations created since, with each unveiling new technologies and features that have kept Land Rover at the front of innovation.
Though today’s models are stunning, there can never be enough time spent admiring their roots; as the release reminds us, “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.”
A full timeline of the model’s history was included in the release, and can be seen below the gallery. A few highlights from 45 years of the Range Rover include the first generation’s inclusion of a diesel option in 1986 and inclusion of anti-lock brakes, the first 4×4 to do so, in 1989. The second generation, P38a, brought the addition of adjustable suspension and the 1999 Linley Special Edition, the most luxurious Range Rover created at the time.
The third generation, L322, ran from 2001 to 2012, bringing about a bigger, more spacious interior and inspiration from high-end yacht designs. Virtual instruments were first implemented and infotainment options grew, including the option for passengers to enjoy DVDs. The fourth generation is currently in production, and with the addition of a remote-control option, it’s only going to continue to keep Land Rover at the forefront.
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Check out the YouTube video from Land Rover documenting the Range Rover’s 45 years above, scroll through the gallery below and skim through the timeline to see more of this model’s impressive history, then find yourself the perfect Range Rover from our exclusive listings.
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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
(Source: Jaguar Land Rover)