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 17 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 was the first SUV to feature a permanent 4WD system when it was launched, and in 1989 was the world’s first 4×4 to be fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes.
Later in 1992 it became the world’s first 4×4 to be fitted with electronic traction control (ETC) and automatic electronic air suspension – ensuring the refined driving feel Range Rover is so famous for, both on and off-road.
In 2012, the latest generation Range Rover became the world’s first SUV to feature an all-aluminium lightweight construction, making it lighter, stronger and more efficient.
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 won the Paris-Dakar rally – twice.
No other vehicle combines the levels of luxury, comfort and sophistication with off-road capability and on-road performance like 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.
To celebrate 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.
A range of powertrain options will be available; petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid P400e version.*
Now in its fourth generation with over a million sold in its lifetime, the Range Rover is the ultimate expression of luxury.
It’s unmistakable, sophisticated design and class-leading all-terrain capability has ensured the Range Rover is as peerless and relevant today as it was in 1970.
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 that 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 family grew once again with the introduction of the Range Rover Velar, filling the space between the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque.
Taking its name from the first Range Rover prototypes, the Range Rover Velar broadened the Range Rover portfolio with a statement reductionist design and a technology-rich interior.
RANGE ROVER HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
Today marks 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 ‘Spen’ King (nephew of the founders of Land Rover), 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, with the first model being released to the world’s media to critical acclaim in 1970. Its blend of ability – motorway cruising, off-roading, and even towing in style and comfort – 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 world famous Louvre Museum in Paris in 1971.
The first generation Range Rover (1970-1996) was originally only available as a two door when it went on sale in 1970.
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.
The vehicle also displayed an even more luxurious interior without compromising on its on-road ability and off-road capability. It also featured enhanced height-adjustable suspension as well as a 2.5-litre diesel and 3.9 and 4.6-litre versions of the V8 petrol, providing greater performance 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 (replacing the traditional 4×4 ladder frame) and fully independent suspension with interconnected air springs (at the time 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. It was the first SUV to feature lightweight all-aluminium construction, saving 420kg in weight compared to its predecessor.
Featuring a wealth of new off-road innovations such as automatic Terrain Response™ 2 and All-Terrain 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 – which feature powerful V8 engines and finely crafted cabins.
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About Land Rover
Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true ‘breadth of capability’ across the model range. Defender, Discovery, Discovery Sport, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque each define the world’s SUV sectors, with 80 per cent of this model range exported to over 100 countries.
1967 Development begins on the ‘100-inch Station Wagon’ – the first Range Rover prototype, on 6 September 1967
1969 Prototypes wear the name ‘Velar’ in an effort to hide the Range Rover’s identity – the name is made up of letters from production-ready badges for the ‘Alvis’ and ‘Rover’ marques though is derived from the Latin ‘velare’ meaning to veil or cover
1970 Two-door Range Rover launches on 17 June – it features a lightweight aluminium V8 engine, permanent 4WD and all-round disc brakes
1971 Range Rover becomes the first vehicle to be displayed at the Louvre museum in Paris, applauded for its ‘exemplary work of industrial design’ – the production model is displayed in the entrance while a ¼ scale model is exhibited inside
1971 Range Rover receives the RAC Dewar award for outstanding technical achievement
1972 The Range Rover is the first vehicle to cross the length of the Americas, including the Darién Gap, an 18,000-mile British Army Trans-America expedition, taking 99 days to cover 250 miles of dense jungle
1974 Range Rover completes the west to east Sahara desert expedition – 7,500 miles in
1977 A modified Range Rover wins the 4×4 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 inaugural Paris-Dakar rally (a Range Rover wins again in 1981)
1981 First production four-door is launched – based on a conversion by Swiss company Monteverdi
1981 First factory-produced limited edition Range Rover – the ‘In Vogue’ – is produced, heralding Range Rover’s evolution into a luxury vehicle; the name (Vogue) is later adopted for top of the range variants
1982 Range Rover production reaches 100,000
1982 The option of automatic transmission is introduced on Range Rover
1982 Specially-commissioned Range Rover is manufactured for Pope John Paul II’s visit to
1983 Range Rover five-speed manual gearbox is introduced
1984 Following the success of the ‘In Vogue’ LE, the Range Rover Vogue is introduced as top of the model’s line-up
1985 The diesel-powered Range Rover ‘Beaver Bullet’ breaks 27 speed records, including a diesel record for averaging more than 100mph for 24 hours
1986 First diesel Range Rover is introduced – a 2.4-litre turbo-charged VM engine; front spoiler added to all except Turbo Diesel variants
1987 Range Rover launches in North America
1988 A Borg-Warner chain driven transfer box with a viscous coupled centre differential is introduced into the Range Rover’s driveline, providing a significant improvement to the vehicle’s refinement and reinforcing its luxury credentials
1989 Range Rover is the world’s first 4×4 to be fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes, the first in the world designed for optimum performance off- as well as on-road
1989 A caravan of expedition-ready Range Rovers traverse the most demanding portion of the Continental Drive in Colorado, USA which Land Rover christens the ‘Great Divide’
1990 To commemorate the end of the Range Rover two-door, a Limited Edition CSK – named after Range Rover Chief Designer Charles Spencer King (Spen), is launched (200 vehicles produced)
1992 Range Rover Classic is the world’s first 4×4 to be fitted with electronic traction control (ETC) and automatic electronic air suspension – two world firsts!
1992 LWB LSE (known as County LWB in the US) is launched with a drive in Morocco to showcase the new model and demonstrate the automatic electronic air suspension technology
1993 The Autobiography designation is announced at the London Motor Show (introduced to customers in 1994), limited to 25 vehicles
1994 2nd generation Range Rover (P38A) is launched with a long wheelbase chassis and re-styled semi-monocoque body plus upgraded electronic air suspension
1996 Range Rover Classic bows out after total production of 317,615 units (two year production crossover with P38A)
1999 Land Rover creates the most luxurious Range Rover yet with the Limited Edition Range Rover Linley, inspired by furniture designer Lord Linley – only 10 vehicles priced at £100,000 are produced
2001 Third-generation Range Rover (L322) is launched with all-round independent air suspension, demonstrated with drive at RAF Kinloss, Skibo and Novar Estate
2002 Half-millionth Range Rover is built at the Solihull plant
2005 4.4-litre V8 and 4.2-litre V8 supercharged petrol engines added
2005 Second model line – the Range Rover Sport – is launched
2006 Terrain Response® and TDV8 diesel are introduced to the Range Rover
2009 Range Rover features all-new LR-V8 5.0-litre and 5.0-litre supercharged petrol engines and world-first Adaptive Dynamics system to continually optimise body and ride control
2010 Range Rover celebrates its 40th anniversary
2010 Third model line – the Range Rover Evoque – is launched and creates a new vehicle segment, the luxury compact SUV
2011 The Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition is revealed
2011 The new 313PS 4.4-litre LR-TDV8 is introduced to the Range Rover, offering a 14 per cent reduction in CO2 and an improvement in fuel consumption of 18.5 per cent
2012 Fourth-generation Range Rover (L405) is launched on 6 September at the Royal Ballet School, London – the world’s first all-aluminium SUV
2013 Range Rover introduces 340PS 3.0-litre LR-V6 supercharged petrol engine
2013 Second-generation Range Rover Sport (L494) is launched
2013 Range Rover Hybrid prototypes take on the epic Silk Trail to India, travelling 9,950 miles from Solihull to Mumbai as part of their final engineering sign-off
2013 The first Range Rover long wheelbase in 20 years is launched in addition to an exclusive specification – the Range Rover Autobiography Black
2014 A fleet of Range Rovers and a Range Rover Classic travel nearly 1,000 miles along a portion of the original Great Divide route to celebrate 25 years since the expedition
2014 Long wheelbase Range Rover Hybrid makes its world debut in China
2014 The Range Rover and Range Rover Sport showcase a world-first innovation – All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) and also get Head-Up Display
2015 The 21st anniversary of the Autobiography designation – the pinnacle of the Range Rover model line-up
2015 The most powerful production Range Rover ever debuts at the New York Auto Show – the Range Rover SVAutobiography boasts a 550PS V8 supercharged engine and celebrates 21 years of the Autobiography name
2015 Six millionth production Land Rover is a Range Rover Long Wheelbase Vogue SE and celebrates 45 years of Range Rover
2015 A hybrid-powered Range Rover State Review is used for the first time by Her Majesty The Queen, replacing the previous Range Rover State Review vehicle from 2002
2015 A Range Rover is driven across a specially-commissioned freestanding paper bridge in Suzhou, China – spanning five metres, it is constructed without any glue or bolts
2016 A Range Rover Autobiography tows Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo at its reveal and naming ceremony at the Mojave Air and Space Port, California
2016 Advanced Tow Assist and Intelligent Speed Limiter launch
2017 New Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic; a more driver-focused Range Rover, lowered by 8mm with a powerful 550PS 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine
2017 Land Rover Classic announces ‘Range Rover Reborn’, a new programme providing the unique opportunity to purchase an original and highly collectible two-door Range Rover direct from the original manufacturer
2017 Range Rover Sentinel is announced, based on the Autobiography but designed to withstand penetration by 7.62mm high velocity incendiary bullets (later version revealed in 2019)
2017 Fourth model line – the Range Rover Velar – is launched
2017 Range Rover P400e PHEV is revealed at the London Design Museum
2017 Range Rover SVAutobiography Long Wheelbase is revealed at LA Auto Show, available with the new PHEV driveline and also an uprated 565PS V8 Supercharged petrol engine
2018 A new 275PS 3.0-litre twin-turbo SDV6 diesel engine replaces the TDV6 3.0-litre unit
2018 Second-generation Range Rover Evoque is launched
2020 Range Rover gets 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine and MHEV powertrain, as well as the Range Rover Fifty special edition