1970s / 1980s / 1990s / British / Land Rover

Take a fast lesson in Range Rover history

Land Rover has condensed 48 years of Range Rover history into an informative, minute-and-a-half-long video that highlights key dates and models.

The first 26 Range Rover prototypes were built in 1969, well before spy photographer was recognized as a profession and the term SUV was coined. The cars were consequently tested out on the open road without any camouflage, though the “Range Rover” lettering on the hood was replaced by the made-up name “Velar” to fool on-lookers. Land Rover explains “velar” is derived from the Italian verb “velare” which means “to veil.”

Regular production of the first-generation Range (pictured below) started in 1970. The first major update came in 1981 when Land Rover expanded the Range Rover lineup with a four-door model. An automatic transmission was made available in 1982, and the British brand decided to sell its range-topping model in the United States in 1987. ABS brakes were introduced in 1989, while electronic traction control and an automatic air suspension — two firsts in the Range Rover’s segment — were added in 1992.

A brand-new, second-generation model named P38 internally was introduced in 1994. It was still instantly recognizable as a Range Rover, but it looked considerably more modern than its predecessor thanks to softer lines and rectangular headlights. Notably, the P38 was the first Range only offered with four doors.



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