The Range Rover, one of the most significant vehicles in the history of motoring, will celebrate its 40th birthday on June 17, 2010. It was the world’s first vehicle as good on-road as off-road. The Range Rover was the first fully capable luxury 4×4 and was a milestone in the development of the SUV. There have been three generations of Range Rover. The original, now known as the Classic, went on sale in 1970 and continued in production, with numerous upgrades and a multiplicity of variants, for just over 25 years.
The second-generation vehicle went on sale in 1994 and was replaced in 2001 by the current model. The continuing success of the Range Rover ensured that other premium makers jumped into the booming luxury SUV market. The latest version has enjoyed higher annual sales than any previous models and continues to be popular around the world. Sold around the world, from London to Los Angeles, Sydney to Shanghai, Turin to Tokyo, the Range Rover remains the ultimate choice for the luxury SUV customer.
“The Range Rover is really four vehicles in one,” says managing director Phil Popham. “It’s a seven-days-a-week luxury motor car, a leisure vehicle that will range far and wide on the highways and off-road trails of the world, a high performance car for long distance travel, and a working cross-country vehicle.” From princes to politicians, from rock gods to rock climbers, from footballers to farmers, the Range Rover has always appealed to a diverse group of customers. A second model line, the Range Rover Sport, was launched in 2005, aimed at more sports-oriented driver-focused customers. It has been a great success, and in 2007 was Land Rover’s biggest selling vehicle worldwide.
Later this year, a further member of the Range Rover family will be added, taking the portfolio to three model lines. The new vehicle will be smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient, tying in perfectly with the Range Rover brand’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Yet it will be no less premium, no less luxurious, and no less special than the other Range Rover models.
Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true “breadth of capability” across the model range. Defender, LR2 (Freelander 2), LR4 (Discovery 4), Range Rover Sport and Range Rover each define the world’s 4×4 sectors, with 78% of this model range exported to over 140 countries. Land Rover employs 8,500 people and supports a further 40,000 jobs supported in the supply chain.
Land Rover takes its responsibility to the environment seriously. Emissions have been cut with all new models and, together with Jaguar, Land Rover is investing £800m on technology specifically aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Since September 2006, carbon dioxide generated by Land Rover manufacturing activities and UK customer vehicle use has been balanced through an industry leading offset program run by Climate Care.