Range Rover today celebrates 50 years of pioneering innovation, refinement, and all-terrain capability with the introduction of the new Range Rover Fifty.
The original luxury SUV has defined the market since June 17, 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 four-wheel drive (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 famous for, both on and off-road. In 2012, the latest generation Range Rover became the world’s first SUV to feature an all-aluminum lightweight construction, making it lighter, stronger, and more efficient.
It has crossed the notoriously impassable ‘Darién 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 hood, 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 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 Chief Creative Officer, which will appear on the exterior of the vehicle and throughout the interior on the unique “1 of 1970” center console commissioning plaque, headrests, dashboard, and illuminated treadplates.
“In the world of luxury vehicles, the Range Rover has always stood apart as peerless and enduring,” said Prof Gerry McGovern OBE, Land Rover Chief Creative Officer. “Its unique and pioneering sensibilities together with an unrivaled 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 colors; 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. For customers in North America, each example will be fitted with a 518hp 5.0-liter supercharged V8 powertrain.
Full details for the Range Rover Fifty, including pricing and specifications, will be subject to an announcement later this year, closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date.
Now in its fourth generation with over a million sold in its lifetime, the Range Rover is the ultimate expression of luxury. Its unmistakable, sophisticated design and all-terrain capability have ensured the Range Rover is as revered today as it was in 1970.
The Range Rover Family
After three decades as a leader in 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 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 revolutionize 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 sedan 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 critical acclaim in 1970. Its blend of ability – highway 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-renowned 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 second-generation Range Rover known as the P38A debuted in 1994 and was instantly recognizable thanks to its familiar silhouette, floating roof, clamshell hood, practical split tailgate, and continuous beltline;
all of which continue to this day. The vehicle also displayed an even more luxurious interior without compromising on on-road ability and off-road capability. It also featured enhanced height-adjustable suspension as well as 4.0 and 4.6-liter V8 gasoline engines, providing greater performance than ever before.
The third-generation Range Rover (2003-2012) delivered a wealth of improvements on all predecessors. 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 rear 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-aluminum construction, saving 926 lb (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 advanced driver assistance technologies.
For the past five years, the Range Rover SVAutobiography has been at the pinnacle of the model lineup, with the most powerful and refined vehicles in Range Rover history. Produced by the Land Rover brand’s Special Vehicle Operations division, customers can also choose from the Range Rover SVAutobiography and SVAutobiography Dynamic – which feature powerful 557hp V8 engines and finely crafted cabins.
For more information on Range Rover and the Range Rover family of SUVs, visit HERE.