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April 2018

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Look back at the birth of the original Land Rover | How Land Rover has driven adventure and scientific exploration | GQ Editor Dylan Jones discusses inspiration with Chief Design Officer Gerry McGovern | Exploring the potential impact of electrification and connected vehicles | Tackling the 999 steep steps up to Heaven’s Gate in China

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XXXXXXX LEFT | Four-door version makes its debut | Vogue magazine feature leads to ‘Vogue’ editions 1982 | First automatic gearbox oered | Total Range Rover production tops 100,000 1985 | Diesel-powered ‘Bullet’ breaks 27 speed records 02 01 The late Roger Moore inspecting an early model Range Rover 02 At home oor on-road, the Range Rover embodies all-terrain ability and comfort 03 A first generation Range Rover was restored to its original specs by Land Rover Classic in 2017 04 From its early days, the Range Rover was marketed as the vehicle that would change the SUV market for good 01 03 PHOTOGRAPHY: XXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX 40 04

PEERLESS LUXURY 1986 | First diesel engine version oered to customers 1987 | Range Rover goes on sale in the United States 1989 | First 4x4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes 1992 | Electronic traction control & air suspension added 1993 | Bespoke ‘Autobiography’ editions oered PHOTOGRAPHY: BRITISH MOTOR MUSEUM HERITAGE TRUST (1) clamshell bonnet. The Range Rover’s appeal has always been as much about its desirability as its breadth of ability. Bache’s achievement was acknowledged when, soon after its launch, the Range Rover became the first ever car to be displayed in the Louvre art gallery in Paris. King and his colleagues made the same mistake as his uncles in the late 1940s in underestimating the demand for this new breed of car. Waiting lists were long and new cars were being sold on for a premium to buyers who were unwilling to wait. In 1972, Range Rovers crossed Panama’s almost-impenetrable Darien Gap. Then in 1974 one crossed the Sahara in 100 days. In 1979 it won its class in the Paris-Dakar rally, and it won overall in 1981. Perhaps the Wilks brothers would never have envisaged a Land Rover product winning a major global motorsport event, but these exploits proved beyond doubt its off-road credentials. Back in Solihull they were busy adding “ I remember the first time I drove a prototype. It was brilliant. I remember doing 100mph on the track. I thought: This vehicle is extraordinary - comfortable, fast, a brilliant and spacious touring car” ROGER CRATHORNE RANGE ROVER ENGINEER AND LATER HEAD OF THE LAND ROVER EXPERIENCE luxurious refinements such as cloth seats, power steering and a carpeted boot. ONGOING EVOLUTION While the Range Rover has always carried a premium price to match its peerless image, it seems that there was no upper limit on how much some were prepared to spend on their cars. Several early customers opted to send their Range Rovers to coachbuilders for expensive four-doors conversions. One, by Swiss supercar maker Monteverdi, caught the eye of Range Rover engineers. A total of 200 were subsequently commissioned to be sold through official dealers. They proved hugely popular, so in 1981 the factory four-door went into production. In the same year, Vogue magazine wanted to add the Range Rover’s allure to a photoshoot in Biarritz. Its appearance attracted such attention that a ‘Vogue’ limited edition was produced, marking the first use of the Vogue name for high-specification Range Rovers. Within a few years, 80 per cent of Range Rover production would be four-door Vogues, which later saw the three-door, which started it all, cease regular production in 1985. The 100,000th Range Rover was built in 1982, an achievement made all the more impressive by the fact that a diesel engine wasn’t offered until 1986, and that the car wasn’t sold in the United States of America until 1987. More technological advances followed: in 1989 the Range Rover became the first 4x4 to be fitted with anti-lock brakes, and in 1992 it became the first SUV in the world to be fitted with electronic traction control and automatic electronic air suspension. EARNING ITS STRIPES The Range Rover’s more luxurious specification and higher price means it isn’t as widely used by the uniformed services as the original Land Rover. But within a year of launch, the original twodoor was wearing police stripes, and both the first- and secondgeneration Range Rovers were widely used as motorway patrol cars and armed response vehicles. Officers appreciated the Range Rover’s speed and comfort, the ability to tow stricken vehicles, its excellent visibility and its ability to continue a chase off the motorway and through a field: almost the same set of attributes that appeal so strongly to regular customers. Perhaps the ultimate accolade came with the Range Rover’s adoption in the 1970s by the UK’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) regiment. Several cars were subtly modified with roll-cages, radios and hidden blue lights to speed SAS operatives to incidents where their services were required. Some others were less subtle, featuring roof-mounted ladders for making assaults on buildings through upper-storey windows. 41

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Land Rover Magazine


Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.

In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.

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