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History of the Range Rover

The Range Rover is one of the most iconic cars in UK motoring history. Built as the next step from the renowned workhorse Land Rover, it has grown into one of the most luxury vehicles on the market, beloved by footballers, musicians and millionaires for its size and style. But it wasn’t always that way.

The Land Rover, only bigger

Work on the Range Rover concept began in the 1950s as the Rover Company sought to make a larger version of their landmark Land Rover. It took 17 years until 1967 for a first prototype to be designed, and another three years before the car was officially launched in 1970. Its distinctive front grille and headlights were an instant hit, with the car featured at the Musee du Louvre for its ‘exemplary work of industrial design’.

One of the early examples of the Range Rovers engineering prowess was when specially modified versions became the first cars to drive across both North and South America in one trip.

A quarter of a century later…

It took 25 years for the next generation to come along, in large part due to the original’s success. The new model kept the same shape, except the headlights lost their distinctive round shape. It also benefitted from the option of having a BMW motor – the company that now owned the marque.

Luxury over utility

In 2002, the third generation was launched, symbolising the change from a good all-around workhorse into a luxury car maker. It came with a lot of features found in up-market BMWs, all packaged in the larger Range Rover size. While it still came in a 4x4 package, you were more likely to see one in a wealthy suburb than on a busy farm.

British built, Indian owned

The most recent model is the first to be produced under the Tata motors/Jaguar Land Rover badge. And while some are produced in China and India, the car is still produced in the UK at the famous Solihull Plant. Now fitted with a Jaguar engine, it is the bigger beefier counterpart to the sleeker saloons produced by Jaguar. Available in a number of different variations including the Evoque and Sport, it is a long way away from the car that first launched in 1970. But it still has the same size and shape that made the car an icon of the seventies.


published: 11/05/2018 12:10:19

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