September 21, 2010

Range Rover celebrates its 40th birthday

This summer, the Range Rover celebrated its 40th birthday. One of the most significant vehicles in the history of motoring, the Range Rover was the world's first vehicle as good on-road as off-road. It was the first fully capable luxury 4x4 and was a milestone in the development of the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle).

Phil Popham, managing director, Land Rover, said: "Land Rover has a unique history of product innovation. But the Range Rover probably remains the most historically significant vehicle we have ever launched. It is one of the most important vehicles in the history of motoring."

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, known as the P38a, 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. 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.

The all-new Evoque, announced in July, will join the Range Rover line-up in 2011 as the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient Range Rover ever. Customers will have a choice of a 4WD or 2WD version, with a sub-130g/km CO2 emissions figure demonstrating the Range Rover brand's commitment to environmental sustainability. The Evoque will make its global public debut at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September and go on sale from next summer. It will be built at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood plant, creating 1,000 new jobs.