Range Rover I (Classic): 1970
Velare is a Latin word that translates as ‘veil’, or ‘to cover’. It was used for a prototype Land Rover back in 1967 that just three short years later would emerge as the very first Range Rover.
The two-door Rangie – retrofitted with the ‘Classic’ moniker after the second-gen car was released – first landed in June 1970. It featured such hits as a lightweight aluminium V8 up front, four-wheel-drive and disc brakes all round.
More than that, it quickly became a bit of a design hero: in 1971 the Range Rover Classic was the first car to be displayed at the Louvre in Paris for its “exemplary work of industrial design”.
You want one.
Range Rover II (P38a): 1994
Yes, you read those dates correct. The Classic soldiered on for 24 years before a full-blown new model was ushered in. That codename? The building it was developed in.
It launched with a long wheelbase chassis too, along with a new semi-monocoque body and better air suspension. In 1999, LR revealed the-then most luxurious Rangie it had ever built: the Linley, inspired by furniture designer Lord Linley. Only 10 were built. Each one cost £100k.
Range Rover III (L322): 2001
Just seven years after the second generation SUV came the third; it was shown off at RAF Kinloss (because of course), and featured all-round independent air suspension as a highlight.
Just one year later, LR celebrated the 500,000th Range Rover built in Solihull, while in 2005 V8 versions joined the range along with a new model line you might be familiar with: the Range Rover Sport.
Range Rover IV (L405): 2012
Funny to think the most recent RR had been with us for so long – nine years is an age in the motoring world these days. Testament to the Rangie’s enduring desirability, no doubt.
This one featured a number of firsts including a fully aluminium base, while other innovations like ‘all-terrain response progress control’ would appear much later. In 2015, Land Rover built the six millionth Range Rover – a LWB Vogue SE – while in the same year, Her Majesty The Queen embraced the greener Rangie by opting for a hybrid RR State Review.
During this model’s lifetime we saw yet another line spun off, named after the original prototype from 1967: the Range Rover Velar.
And since 1970, Land Rover has sold more than 1.25 million Range Rovers across the globe. Big shoes to fill, quite literally.
Range Rover V: 2021
And so we come to only the fifth generation of a car so married to Team GB and the ideals of luxury motoring it’s practically the standard-bearer. For the first time in its life, it's available as a seven-seater.
It gets a new trim line at the top called ‘SV’ which features a BMW 4.4-litre V8 and much power. There are plug-in hybrid models with up to 80km of electric only, real-world range.
And in 2024, there’s going to be a fully-electric Range Rover. You can read the full debrief over here.
STORY Vijay Pattni