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The History of Range Rovers

Posted on 21st December 2016

vintage land rover

The Range Rover is the luxury SUV that has taken the world by a storm. This opulent off-roader has seen some changes through its production, and was named one of the, “Top 10 British Cars of All Time” by Classic Sports & Car Magazine. Here’s a little bit of a history lesson for you all!

1948 - The Land Rover is Born

Let us take you back to 1948, when the introduction of the Range Rover’s sister, the Land Rover turned out to be an incredible success. The effects of World War II had been felt throughout the UK, and Rover Company had to get a bigger factory in order to meet the high demand for wartime and military equipment. Once the call for armaments had diminished, they found that they had more floor space in their new factory than they had cars to sell, and they weren’t selling fast enough.

The aim was to create a vehicle tailored towards the agricultural and military industry, that would sell quickly and be in high demand. This also mean that excess floor space was being used efficiently, and the four wheel drive Land Rover was born.

1970 - The Range Rover is Released

After a few Land Rovers were produced, Rover wanted to create a solid off-roader that would sky-rocket the 4x4 trade.  The release of the very first Range Rover happened in the Solihull production line in 1970. This three door car was a permanent four wheel drive, with V8 power and self-levelling rear suspension. This Range Rover (now known as the Classic Rover) paved the way for to SUV industry, and retailed for £1998. During its release, there was no other vehicle or off-roader that could do what the Range Rover did.

1981 - The Four Door Range Rover is Released

11 years after its initial release, and setting the scope of what a classic British car really is, the more practical five door Range Rover was released. This popular off-roader could now carry more people, and had come very far since 1948.

1982 - The Popemobile

Range Rover had combined safety with luxury during the Pope’s visit to the UK in 1982.  This Popemobile was a converted Range Rover. It was the first bullet-proof Popemobile, and was built after the attempted assassination of John Paul II in 1931. Saving Popes since 1982.

1986 - The Electronic Fuel Injection

Four years after the four door Range Rover was created, Range Rover was given an electronic fuel injection, boosting its power by 30%, from 127 BHP to 165 BHP/ This was developed using the Lucas ‘L’ system engine, with combines 100 MPH with top end performance, control and response. This fuel-injected unit has become standard  practice for the top line Range Rover Vogue.

1987 - Range Rover goes to America

In 1987 the Range Rover made its premiere in North America in 1987. A year later, the Vogue SE was launched - this was an opulent vehicle that came with a status, and everyone wanted a piece.

1989 - The V8 ups its Litres

19 years after its conception, the 3.5 litre V8 became 3.9 litres. Alongside this, the Range Rover was the first SUV to have an anti-lock braking system, once again paving the way four SUVs across America and the UK.

1992 - The Range Rover Features ETC

Once again, the Range Rover was miles ahead of any other SUV, and featured Electronic Traction Control and automatic air suspension in their vehicles.

1996 - The Classic Range Rover lived up to its badge

In its 26 years of production, 317,615 had been sold, the second generation Range Rover lasted on seven years until the release of the third.

2001 - 3rd Generation Range Rover

The brand-new third generation Range Rover showed a clear shift of marketing trends, after basing their designs on yachts, fine furniture and first class tastes.  The popularity of luxury SUVs grew.

2004 - Range Rover Stormer

In 2004 Land Rover produced their Range Rover Stormer idea, which was the preface for the Range Rover Sport. Once again, this saw the demand for luxury SUVs.

2005 - Range Rover Sport

After the concept of the Range Rover Stormer was unveiled, the first Range Rover Sport happened. It had a 4.2-litre V8 supercharged engine.

2010 - Range Rover Sport Gets a Facelift

In 2010 the Range Rover Sport got a facelift, with Land Rover’s bosses stating that over 1,400 new parts were being used to create an even more luxurious SUV. 2010 was a big year for Range Rovers, as two new engines were introduced. The V8 had a 5.0 litre supercharged engine, propelling the Range Rover to 62mph in 5.9 seconds and delivering 19mpg.

2011 - Range Rover Evoque is Born

In 2011 the ‘baby Range Rover’ is introduced. The Evoque Range Rover is marketed as the luxurious and smaller version of the world’s favourite SUV.

2015 - 6 Millionth Range Rover is produced

The 6 millionth Land Rover produced was the Range Rover LWB Vogue SE, build on April 2nd 2015.

Range Rover continuously develops and strives for improvement - it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. At Coutts we’re passionate about the World’s favourite 4x4. If you’d like to hire a Range Rover or Land Rover 4x4 car, do not hesitate to get in touch.