Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true ‘breadth of capability’ across the model range. This year, Range Rover celebrates 50 years of pioneering innovation, peerless refinement and unparalleled all-terrain capability with the introduction of the new Range Rover Fifty.
The original luxury SUV has defined the market since June 1970 and, five decades on, the Range Rover has evolved to become a family of desirable and capable luxury vehicles. Its compelling blend of design, refinement and engineering innovation has ensured its place as the benchmark for all luxury SUVs.
Over its 50-year lifespan, the Range Rover has achieved many world firsts and completed numerous impressive feats. It has crossed the notoriously impassable ‘Darien Gap,’ was the first vehicle to ever be displayed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and has even twice won the Paris-Dakar rally. One would be hard-pressed to find any other vehicle that combines the levels of luxury, comfort and sophistication with off-road capability and on-road performance as the Range Rover.
With its clamshell bonnet, distinctive floating roof, split tailgate and trademark front fender vents, the Range Rover of today can still trace its roots back to the 1970 original. In its golden anniversary year, it is now the most efficient, connected, luxurious and capable yet.
In celebrating 50 years of a motoring icon, the limited-run Range Rover Fifty will be restricted to just 1,970 vehicles globally, in recognition of the year the original Range Rover was launched. Building on the luxuriously appointed autobiography, the Range Rover Fifty features a number of bespoke exterior accents in Auric Atlas as well as two unique 22-inch wheel designs. The badging features a ‘Fifty’ script created personally by Prof Gerry McGovern OBE, Land Rover’s Chief Creative Officer, which will appear on the exterior of the vehicle and throughout the interior on the unique “1 of 1970” centre console commissioning plaque, headrests, dashboard and illuminated treadplates.
Prof Gerry McGovern OBE, Land Rover Chief Creative Officer, said: “In the world of luxury vehicles, the Range Rover has always stood apart as peerless and enduring. Its unique and pioneering sensibilities together with an unrivalled engineering approach have been the intrinsic values which our customers have admired since the first of the breed was revealed in 1970.”
The Range Rover Fifty will be available in both standard and long wheelbase body designs with customers able to choose from four carefully curated exterior colours; Carpathian Grey, Rosello Red, Aruba, and Santorini Black. In extremely limited numbers, Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations is also offering the Range Rover Fifty in one of three Heritage exterior solid paints reproduced from the original Range Rover paint palette; Tuscan Blue, Bahama Gold and Davos White. Powertrain options include petrol, diesel and even a plug-in hybrid P400e version.
The Range Rover Family
After three decades at the top of the luxury SUV sector, the Range Rover became a family in 2005 with the launch of the Range Rover Sport, a vehicle which combines the luxury and capability of the larger Range Rover with a sporty and engaging driving character. In 2010, the compact Range Rover Evoque made its debut, aimed at a younger and more urban customer base. In 2017, the Range Rover Velar grew the family once again with a statement reductionist design and a technology-rich interior.
Range Rover History
It’s been 50 years since the first Range Rover was revealed, but the story goes back even further. During the mid 1960s, in a bid to revolutionise the growing 4×4 leisure market, the Rover car company’s engineering chief for new vehicle projects, Charles Spencer King, hatched a plan to combine the comfort and on-road ability of a Rover saloon with the off-road ability of a Land Rover.
Development of the first 100-inch station wagon prototype began during the late 1960s, and was released to the world’s media to critical acclaim in 1970. Its blend of ability ensured its instant popularity. The original Classic model was cited as an ‘exemplary work of industrial design’ when it became the first vehicle to be displayed at the Louvre Museum in 1971.
The first generation Range Rover (1970-1996) was only available as a two door, and during its 26-year lifespan the Classic continued to evolve with the introduction of the four-door model in 1981 and an automatic gearbox in 1982. The first diesel Range Rover arrived in 1986.
The second generation Range Rover known as the P38A arrived in 1994 and was instantly recognisable thanks to its familiar silhouette, floating roof, clamshell bonnet, practical split tailgate and continuous waistline; all of which continue to this day. With an even more luxurious interior, it also featured enhanced height-adjustable suspension and provided greater performance variants than ever before.
The third generation Range Rover (2001-2012) delivered a wealth of improvements on all predecessors during its 11-year period. Engineering innovations included a stiffer monocoque body and fully independent suspension with interconnected air springs at a time when nearly all 4x4s had rigid axles. The interiors of these vehicles were inspired by high-end yachts, fine furniture and first-class airline seats, providing more space and luxury.
In 2012, the fourth generation and most recent Range Rover debuted as the first SUV to feature lightweight all-aluminium construction, 420kg lighter than before. Featuring a wealth of new off-road innovations such as automatic all terrain response and progress control, it has evolved to include efficient new electrified Ingenium engines, a plug-in hybrid electric version and innovative infotainment and safety technologies.
For the last five years the Range Rover SVAutobiography has been at the pinnacle of the model line-up, with the most powerful and refined vehicles in Range Rover’s history. Produced by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division, customers can also choose from the Range Rover SVAutobiography and SVAutobiography Dynamic fitted with powerful V8 engines and finely crafted cabins.