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First revealed to the world’s media back on 17th June 1970, the Range Rover is now in its 4th generation. Selling more than 6 million vehicles, it has gone through some incredible changes during the past four and a half decades.
Coined the world’s most desirable luxury SUV, the Range Rover has certainly lived up to its name offering a host of new innovations with each generation, ensuring the general public will keep coming back for more.
First Generation – Classic (1970 – 1994)
In 1966, as Land Rover looked to revolutionise the growing 4×4 leisure market, it began production of the first prototype, with the finished car launched to critical acclaim in Cornwall, in 1970. Known and the Classic, and originally only available as a two-door vehicle, the first generation Range Rover featured a lightweight V8 engine, four-wheel drive and all-round disc brakes. Numerous variations and upgrades were introduced during its 25 year lifespan including the introduction of a four-door model in 1981, an automatic gearbox in 1982 and the first diesel engine in 1986. In 1986, it became the world’s first 4×4 to feature anti-lock brakes. It also became the first vehicle to complete at 18,000-mile Trans-America expedition and a 7,500 mile trek across the Sahara Desert in 100 days!
The second-generation Range Rover, named P38a after the building 38A it was made in, arrived in 1994 and delivered an even more luxurious interior as well as greater on-road ability and off-road capability. Key design features which are still prevalent to this day, made sure the latest Range Rover was instantly recognisable thanks to a floating roof, clamshell bonnet and a practical split tailgate, with technical upgrades including height adjustable suspension and a 2.5-litre diesel engine, and 3.9 and 4.6-litre petrol versions of the V8, offering greater performance than ever before.
Third Generation – L322 (2001-2012)
The third generation Range Rover was larger and more spacious than its predecessor and packed with even more gadgets to keep even the most discerning passenger entertained. Inspired by high-end yacht designs, the interior offered fine furniture and first-class airline seating to present the most luxurious vehicle interior ever seen. It became the first vehicle to provide a dual-view infotainment display so drivers could keep tabs on the sat nav instructions while a passenger watched a DVD!
Fourth Generation – (2012 – present)
Launched in 2012 and now in its fourth generation, the Range Rover offers class-leading off-road capability with a range of state-of-the-art petrol, diesel and Hybrid powertrains to deliver an unrivalled blend of refinement, comfort and capability. Its also the first SUV in the world to feature a lightweight all-aluminium body, which brought enhanced efficiency to the range.
Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover Director Global Engineering Operations, said: “Range Rover was the first luxury SUV in the world in 1970 and 45 years on it continues to lead the way. The latest model is the most desirable and sophisticated Land Rover ever, mixing peerless comfort with cutting edge technology to provide the ultimate luxury SUV experience.”
Launched at the New York International Auto Show in March and produced by Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations, the SVAutobiography brings a new level of design sophistication to the line-up and is one of the most luxurious and powerful series production Range Rovers in the vehicle’s 45-year history and is available with distinctive Duo-tone paintwork and a 550PS V8 petrol engine.