The Range Rover is such a masterfully executed SUV that I have no shame sharing pictures of it any chance I get. Yesterday, June 17 2015, was the 45th anniversary of when it was introduced to the world. Here are some highlights from the vehicle’s history.
45 years of history is a lot to stuff into a tight commercial spot, but this clip hits a few of the SUV’s best accolades.
Come on, that thing’s gotta be pretty enough to distract you from reliability records and residual value. Which, as Land Rover would be keen to point out, are improving!
Here are some of the Range Rover’s milestones since it was first sketched, straight from Land Rover’s own historians:
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 4x4 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 4x4 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 4x4 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 4x4
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.
Every iteration of this thing looks awesome in “stormtrooper,” so here are the rest of the family photos for your private-time enjoyment.
Images and timeline via Land Rover
Contact the author at email@example.com.