In Retrospect – 48 Years of Range Rover

A peep into the 48 years of Range Rover history – Unparalleled execution in design and engineering


Range Rover has sent out a smallish video of 85 seconds paying tribute to the entire range of Range Rover which has pioneered the genre of SUV five decades ago. Starting from the very first 1969 Velar prototype and concludes with 2017 Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic.

Over the years Range Rover has introduced numerous first-to-market technologies, including electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension. Emerging into an original luxury SUV, epitomizing the best of British design and luxury.

The specially commissioned visual has been created to mark key dates in the history of the legendary SUV, as the production of the original two-door model ended 23 years ago this month (January) and SVAutobiography Dynamic goes on sale around the world.

The detailed animation shows how today’s Range Rover retains many of the design hallmarks established by the 1970 Classic and culminates with the latest derivative, SVAutobiography Dynamic.

Range Rover has evolved into the world’s most elegant and sophisticated SUV, achieving more than one million sales (1.7 million to date) along the way. Trademark features including its ‘floating’ roof, distinctive clamshell bonnet, continuous belt line and practical split tailgate all pay homage to the groundbreaking original.

The Range Rover story begins with the 26 pre-production models, which wore Velar badges in an effort to hide its identity – velare means to ‘veil’ or ‘cover’ in Italian – made up of letters from the ‘ALVIS’ and ‘ROVER’ badges that usually adorn the front and rear of a vehicle. Next comes the timeless Range Rover Classic two-door as the images showcase successive generations, finishing with the most powerful derivative, the 550PS SVAutobiography Dynamic built by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division.


When it was first launched in 1970, Range Rover was one of the first vehicles to deliver permanent all-wheel drive while many others were still selectable. In 1971 the original model was cited as ‘an exemplary work of industrial design’ when it became the first vehicle to be displayed at the world-famous Louvre museum in Paris and it has been at the forefront of design and engineering innovation ever since.

The four-door variant was introduced in 1981, quickly followed by the first application of an automatic transmission in Range Rover in 1982. In 1989 the luxury SUV was the first 4×4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and in 1992 it became the first SUV in the world fitted with electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension.

The engineering firsts continued in 2012, when Range Rover was the world’s first all-aluminium SUV. More recently, in 2014, the luxury SUV was the first vehicle to employ Land Rover’s advanced semi-autonomous All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) technology, effectively an off-road cruise control for autonomous control of speed on all terrains.

Range Rover Timeline

1969   Range Rover Prototype (Velar)

1970   Range Rover Classic (two-door)

1970  Original two-door Range Rover (the Classic) goes on sale

1973   Range Rover Classic (Suffix C)

1972 Range Rover crosses Darien Gap on the 18,000-mile British Army Trans-America expedition. It took 99 days to cover 250 miles of dense jungle


1977  Range Rover wins 4×4 class in the 30,000km (18,750-mile) London-Sydney Marathon – the longest ever speed-based car rally


1979  A Range Rover wins the inaugural Paris-Dakar rally (and again in 1981)

1981   Range Rover Classic (four-door)

1981  First production four-door Range Rover appears along with the first factory limited edition – the ‘In Vogue’


1982  Automatic transmission introduced on Range Rover


1985  Diesel-powered ‘Bullet’ Range Rover breaks 27 speed records


1987  Range Rover launched in North America


1989  Range Rover is world’s first 4×4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes


1992  Range Rover is world’s first 4×4 to be fitted with electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension

1994   Second-generation Range Rover (P38a)

1994  Second-generation Range Rover introduced

2001   Third-generation Range Rover

2001  Third-generation Range Rover introduced


2002  500,000th Range Rover produced at the Solihull plant

2012   Fourth-generation Range Rover

2012  Fourth-generation Range Rover introduced – the first all-aluminium SUV

2015   Range Rover SVAutobiography 2015  Exclusive Range Rover SVAutobiography launched in New York

2016   Range Rover SVAutobiography Dynamic

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