Jun 17, 2010
Land Rover celebrates today the first 40 years of Range Rover, the legendary British SUV that was introduced for the first time in Cornwall on June 17, 1970.
This automotive icon, as the Range Rover was the first luxury SUV, the forerunner of today’s large SUVs. Moreover, the Range Rover is the symbol of British car production, also because he always resisted the various properties abroad that have followed over the years: the first BMW, then Ford and now Tata.
The development of the Range Rover left in ’66 and the objective was clear: to create a sort of 4-wheel drive Jaguar, characterized by the added value that still distinguishes the various Jeeps, Toyota Land Cruiser, Mitsubishi Pajero and Nissan Patrol. The first generation Range Rover was the aluminum body, four disc brakes and the narrow chassis that housed the permanent four wheel drive with central differential. The body – was a 3-door car and touched 450 cm in length, while the engine under the bonnet was a 3.5 V8 135 bhp, Rover source pushing the SUV up to 150 km/h top speed.
Range Rover was able to distinguish itself in the racing field by winning the Sahara West-East of ’74, the London-Sydney Rally of ’77 and the first edition of the Paris-Dakar in 1979. Underwent some cosmetic upgrades in 1981 that gave birth to second set. Moreover, the debut of a 5-door body variant of the exclusive development Vogue. The following year came the automatic transmission, while in 1985 the 3.5 V8 engine gained electronic fuel injection which led to the maximum power to 165 bhp. Instead, in 1986 the Range Rover was equipped with the 2.4 turbo engine from 112 bhp, produced by Italy’s VM Motori.
In 1989 the standard equipment was augmented by ABS and the Range Rover suffered a last aesthetic update. The second generation debuted in 1994 – identified by the initials of P38a project – which was also available with source BMW V8 engine and 5-door body only. The first generation continued to be marketed as a Range Rover Classic, a model that left the scene in ’96 after being produced in 317,615 copies.
The current Range Rover – recognizable by the initials L322 – was submitted in late 2001 and is characterized by a length of nearly 5 meters. This is the first and only Range Rover development from BMW, the project that led to the birth of the previous X5. The latest addition was the introduction of the Terrain Response system. The model range was expanded in 2005 with the Range Rover Sport, while at year end – at the Paris Motor Show to be held in October – the all-new Range Rover will be presented to small emerging from LRX concept.
In addition, 40th anniversary of the Range Rover will be celebrated with a special edition called “Autobiography Black 40th Anniversary Limited Edition”. The characterization of this development include special staining Barolo Black, 20-inch alloy wheels, different front and the chrome on the body and the interior two-tone Jet / Ivory or Jet / Pimento leather. The Range Rover “Autobiography Black 40th Anniversary Limited Edition” will be produced in only 700 copies, to highlight the exclusivity of the model.