June 17th of 2015 is the 45th Anniversary of the launch of the original Range Rover. To mark the occasion, Land Rover has produced a video, along with a press release with photo gallery detailing the highlights of each model Range Rover throughout the years.
The Range Rover was first introduced in 1970, and quickly gained renown for its combination of rugged off road ability combined with refinement and comfort. Range Rover was the first 4x4 to feature anti-lock brakes, and in 1992 became the first SUV with traction control and automatic air suspension.
In 1994, Land Rover introduced the second generation Range Rover, also known as the P38A, named after the building at Solihull in which it was developed. The new model featured improved interior refinements and increased performance both on and off road, with the availability of a 4.6 liter V8 engine and fully adjustable air suspension. The new design retained some of the signature visual cues and features of the old model, now referred to as Range Rover "Classic." The clamshell bonnet, floating roof, and split tailgate made it unmistakable as a descendent of the original.
In 2003, Land Rover released the MkIII Range Rover, which brought with it a completely redesigned platform using a BMW engine, and fully independent suspension. While early engines are reported to be problematic, the new design still proved infinitely more reliable than the P38A version and with the incredibly luxurious interior, immensely more popular as well.
In 2012, the design was changed yet again, this time with more subtle adjustments to the exterior lines, but with the addition of an industry-first all aluminum chassis. Further refinements in the luxury and handling departments along with an ever more expensive and expansive range of limited edition models and variants combined to cement Range Rover MkIV's place beside it's predecessors in the Land Rover lineup.
Range Rovers have established a motorsport pedigree with early wins in the Paris-Dakar Rallye and other races. They've been used in multiple movies and even the Queen herself drives one. Range Rover is now the pinnacle of luxury offered by Land Rover and possibly in the entire SUV market.
In their Land Rover provides this handy timeline highlighting the major milestones in the history of the Range Rover:
Timeline - A Brief History
1966 Work began on the first Range Rover prototype, known as the '100-inch station wagon'
1970 The original two-door Range Rover - known as the Classic - goes on sale
1971 Range Rover receives the RAC Dewar award for outstanding technical achievement
1972 The Range Rover is the first vehicle to cross the Darien Gap on a British Army Trans America expedition
1974 Range Rover completes west to east Sahara desert expedition - 7,500 miles in 100 days
1977 A modified Range Rover wins the 4x4 class in the London-Sydney Marathon, a grueling 30,000 km (18,750 miles) event and the longest ever speed-based car rally
1979 A specially modified Range Rover wins the first Paris-Dakar rally (a Range Rover wins again in 1981)
1981 First production four-door Range Rover appears along with the first factory produced limited-edition Range Rover - the 'In Vogue'
1982 Automatic transmission becomes available on Range Rover
1983 Range Rover 5-speed manual gearbox is introduced
1985 The diesel-powered Range Rover 'Bullet' breaks 27 speed records, including a diesel record for averaging more than 100mph for 24 hours
1987 Range Rover launched in North America
1989 Range Rover is the world's first 4x4 to be fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes
1990 Limited Edition CSK - named after founder Charles Spencer King - is launched as a sportier Range Rover
1992 Range Rover Classic is the world's first 4x4 to be fitted with Electronic Traction Control
1992 Long-wheelbase LSE (known as County LWB in the US) launched
1992 Automatic electronic air suspension introduced, a world first for a 4x4
1994 Second-generation (P38a) Range Rover launched
1996 Range Rover Classic bows out after total production of 317,615 units
1999 Limited Edition Range Rover Linley appears at London Motor Show
2001 Third-generation (L322) Range Rover launched
2002 Half-millionth Range Rover produced at the Solihull plant
2005 Second model line - the Range Rover Sport - launched
2006 Terrain Response and TDV8 diesel introduced
2009 Range Rover features all-new 5.0-litre V8 and 5.0-litre supercharged petrol engines
2010 Range Rover celebrates its 40th anniversary,
2011 Third model line - the Range Rover Evoque - goes on sale
2012 Fourth-generation (L405) Range Rover launched - the world's first all-aluminium SUV
2013 Long-wheelbase Autobiography Black Edition unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show
2014 Long-wheelbase Range Rover Hybrid makes its world debut in China
2015 Range Rover SV Autobiography launched at New York International Auto Show.
6,000,000th Land Rover produced is a Range Rover LWB SE Vogue destined for China.
Autobiography designation used to identify flagship models celebrates 21st anniversary
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