Range Rover 50th anniversary
Range Rover 50th anniversary
50 years ago on the 17th of June, the world witnessed the launch of the first Range Rover. The most capable and luxury SUV of its time. This iconic British brand was set out to conquer the world! It has been 5 decades and even today the company makes some of the best SUVs in the market! Coming to the 50 years edition, Land Rover will build 1,970 examples of the ‘Fifty’, which is based on the regular fourth-gen Range Rover Autobiography. Available in either standard- or long-wheelbase form with petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid powertrains, it gets special 22-inch wheels and many, MANY ‘Fifty’ badges. An interesting fact: Charles Spencer “Spen” King was the father of the original Range Rover and he passionately hated what it became. He hated the idea of his creation becoming more luxurious and particularly objected to it being driven around town. At the time of his death, he used a Volkswagen Golf MK2. He sure would’ve hated the Velar, wouldn’t he?
The Fifty special edition is based on the already luxurious Autobiography trim level and will be available in both standard and long-wheelbase body styles. In North America, the sole engine choice will be Land Rover’s muscular supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 making 518 horsepower and 461 lb-ft of torque. Being a special edition and all, the Range Rover Fifty has plenty of bespoke features, like exterior accents painted in Auric Atlas (that’s black) and two unique 22-inch wheel designs. The special palette of four standard colors is Carpathian Grey, Rosello Red, Aruba, and Santorini Black. If you crave another level of exclusivity, Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) will paint a very limited number of Range Rover Fifty SUVs in Tuscan Blue, Bahama Gold, or Davos White, replicated from the color palette of the original Range Rover. The vehicle badging carries a special “Fifty” script lettering created by Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern. In addition to being featured on the exterior badging, the special design will be visible on the headrests, dashboard, illuminated doorsills, and on the center console which numbers each vehicle as “1 of 1970.”
When it first debuted in 1970, the Range Rover was the first SUV to feature permanent four-wheel drive. In 1989, it became the first 4×4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes. Three years later, in 1992, the Range Rover became the first 4×4 with electronic traction control and an automatic electronic air suspension. In 2012, it was the first SUV to be constructed of aluminum. It was even the first vehicle to be displayed in the famous Louvre Museum in Paris. In addition to that long list of firsts, a Range Rover has crossed the Darien Gap and won the Paris–Dakar Rally twice.
Originally built to be a workhorse, the Range Rover has evolved into a status symbol for the wealthy. Perhaps in years past, you’d find them tackling off-road terrain, but as of late you’re more likely to find them on Rodeo Drive or in the pickup line at a private school. Despite the change in scenery, the Range Rover retains its rugged roots and all-terrain capability, but regardless of where it goes, it’s for certain its occupants will be in the lap of luxury. Since 1970, the Range Rover lineup has grown to include the Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Evoque, and Range Rover Velar, but the original Range Rover is still the top of the line.