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Motoring: Land Rover Range Rover - 1970

The Range Rover is a landmark in the history of automobile devopment, manufacture and design, having pioneered the concept of a large four wheel vehicle with go-anwhere capabilities, yet with up-market comfort and equipment levels. Unlike the Jeep Wagoneer, a contemporary of the Range Rover in its early years, the original Range Rover was not designed as a luxury vehicle, though it ended up pioneering the four wheel drive luxury wagon market outside of the US when onvenience features such as power steering, carpeted floors, air conditioning, cloth/leather seats, and wooden interior trim were fitted later.

While certainly up-market compared to preceding Land Rover models, the early Range Rovers had fairly basic, utilitarian interiors with vinyl seats and plastic dashboards that were designed to be washed down with a hose. What the designers of the first Range Rover were aiming for was a vehicle that was larger than the Land Rover and offered some creature comforts.

The Rover Company (the creator of the Land Rover marque) had been experimenting with a larger model than the Land Rover Series as far back as 1951, when the Rover P4-based two-wheel-drive "Road Rover" project was developed by Gordon Bashford. This was shelved in 1958, and the idea lay dormant until 1966, when engineers Spen King and Gordon Bashford set to work on a new model. In 1967, the first Range Rover prototype was built, with the classic Range Rover shape clearly discernible, but with a different front grille and headlight configuration. The design of the Range Rover was finalised in 1969. Twenty-six Velar engineering development vehicles were built between 1969 and 1970 and were road registered.

The Range Rover was launched in 1970. In the early 1970s, the Musee du Louvre in Paris exhibited a Range Rover as an "exemplary work of industrial design". Now in its fourth generation, the Range Rover remains true to the original concept - a large luxury four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle (SUV) which still serves as the flagship model of its manufaurer, British car maker Land Rover, a subsidiary of Jaguar Land Rover. In recent years, Land Rover has expanded the Range Rover model line to include two entirely different designs the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport that derive core styling, brand DNA, and breadth of capability from the current Range Rover model.

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2013 Range Rover

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