During the mid-60s, the Rover car company’s engineering chief for new vehicle projects, Charles Spencer ‘Spen’ King (nephew of the founders of Land Rover) envisioned a vehicle that would revolutionise the 4x4 leisure market, combining the comfort and road-handling characteristics of a Rover sedan and the off-road capabilities of a Land Rover. So radical and successful was the idea that when the first Range Rover broke cover in 1970, it started the luxury SUV segment that now commands the majority of vehicles on the road today.
Seamlessly blending premium luxury and unrivalled off-road capabilities, the Range Rover has become a quintessentially British institution and one of the most desirable vehicles on the road. Now, 50 years down the road, Land Rover has commemorated this revolutionary SUV in style by releasing a limited run of special edition Range Rovers called the Range Rover Fifty.
Available in both short- and long-wheelbase body designs, the Range Rover Fifty builds upon the already opulent Autobiography trim level and adds on another level of exclusive trims and detail to make this an exceptional vehicle.
Customers can choose between four colours; Carpathian Grey, Rosello Red, Aruba, and Santorini Black. However, paying homage to the spirit of the original Range Rover, Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations will be offering limited numbers of Heritage exterior colours reproduced from the original Range Rover palate, namely Tuscan Blue, Bahama Gold and Davos White.
To add to the visual impact of the Range Rover Fifty, Land Rover has given customers the option to choose from two unique 22-inch wheel designs. The vehicle also incorporates a ‘Fifty’ script, created personally by Prof Gerry McGovern OBE, Land Rover’s Chief Creative Officer.
The ‘Fifty’ script can also be seen dotted around the interior such as the centre console, headrest and illuminated treadplates. As with most limited-run special editions, the Range Rover Fifty comes with a unique “1 of 1970” commemorative plaque on the centre console, signifying that only 1,970 units will be made, marking the year the Range Rover was first launched.
A range of powertrain options will also be available; petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid P400e version.
The original Range Rover debuted as a stylish 2-door shooting brake, laying the foundation of the elegant range of SUV’s you now see bearing the green oval. The original Range Rover remains as one of the only SUV’s capable of crossing the notorious ‘Darien Gap’ and winning the Paris-Dakar Rally and doing it all on comfort. The same spirit can be seen in the modern range of Range Rover vehicles.
The Range Rover was the first SUV to feature a permanent AWD system, and soon after, the first SUV to be fitted with anti-lock brakes, setting the standard for SUV safety. Later generations of the Range Rover became the first 4x4 to be equipped with electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension. The latest generation of Range Rover is the first SUV in the world to feature all-aluminium construction, making it lighter, stronger and more efficient.
The introduction of the Evoque and Velar complement the full-sized Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, completing the Range Rover family. With the Range Rover SVAutobiography being the pinnacle of Range Rovers philosophy of harmoniously blending opulence with supreme off-road capabilities, the Range Rover is the ultimate expression of luxury. It’s unmistakable, sophisticated design and class-leading all-terrain capability have ensured the Range Rover is as peerless and relevant today as it was in 1970.
Seeing that over a million Range Rovers have been sold in its 50-year lifespan, the legacy of the Range Rover looks safely guarded for another 50 years to come.