The Complete History of the Range Rover

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The Complete History of the Range Rover

The Range Rover is a four-wheel drive, sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by the British automobile manufacturing company Land Rover. The first model of the Range Rover was pulled off the production line and put into dealerships in 1970. Land Rover utilises the Range Rover as its premium brand but also produces two other vehicles using this brand name, the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. However, the classic Range Rover continues to serve as the flagship model for Land Rover. The Range Rover is considered a luxury SUV and it often draws criticism for its environmental impacts and low fuel efficiency.

Range Rovers are available for purchase at Land Rover dealerships, used car dealerships, and online at helpful websites like eBay. Because there is a lot of history behind this luxury SUV, consumers should familiarise themselves with both the background of the Land Rover as well as the Range Rover to help them determine if a Range Rover is the right vehicle purchase for their needs.

The Story Behind Land Rover

Land Rover is the second oldest four-wheel drive manufacturing company after Jeep. While the Land Rover was originally a car model created by the Rover Company in 1948, Land Rover was established as a company in 1978. The original vehicles manufactured by the Rover Company and subsequently Land Rover, were robust, sturdy vehicles with short fronts and rear overhangs. Land Rover vehicles were manufactured specifically to navigate through difficult terrain.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Rover Company became the leading vehicle manufacturer for four-wheel drive vehicles. In 1970, the Rover Company turned out the first Range Rover, which had the durability and and capability of the Land Rover, but with the added comfort and performance of an on-road vehicle.

Evolution of the Range Rover

The Rover Company first began experimenting with the concept of the Range Rover in 1952 but the idea was shelved in 1958. In 1966, engineers at the Rover Company got to work again on what would be the first Range Rover prototype, released in 1967. The very first Range Rover was finished in 1969 and released in 1970. The Range Rover then went through four generations of evolution until it reached the modern Range Rover seen on the road today.

First Generation Range Rover

The first generation Range Rover includes vehicles produced during the period between 1970 and 1996. Unlike the reputation of the modern Range Rover, the first generation Range Rover was not designed to be a luxury SUV. The first generation Range Rover has basic, utility interiors with vinyl seating and plastic dashboards. Later in the time frame, power steering, carpeted floors, air conditioning, cloth or leather seats, and wooden interior trim were added. The first generation Range Rover is built with a body-on-frame design, equipped with coil springs, permanent four-wheel drive, four-wheel disc brakes, and Rover V8 engine. While the first generation Range Rovers were three-door, a five-door body was introduced around 1981. In 1992, Land Rover introduced the option of a diesel engine for the first generation Range Rover. Around 1996, Land Rover began referring to this model as the Range Rover Classic to distinguish it from its successors.

Second Generation Range Rover

The second generation Range Rover covers the time period between 1994 and 2002. The second generation Range Rover has an updated Rover V8 engine, or the option of a 2.5 litre BMW 6-cylinder turbo diesel engine with BOSCH injection pump. The second generation features more equipment and premium trims compared with the first generation Range Rover. The second generation Range Rover is the first Range Rover to feature satellite navigation as an option. The second generation Range Rover is available in both 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmission options.

Third Generation Range Rover

The third generation Range Rover was introduced in 2002 and lasted until 2012. As Land Rover came under BMW ownership, the third generation Range Rover has a lot of the same components and systems as the BMW 7 Series E38. The third generation Range Rover offers the BMW M6 V8 engine and is available only with automatic transmission. The third generation Range Rover features the same electronics as those available in the BMW 5 Series E39. While the third generation started with a 5-speed automatic transmission in 2002, by 2010, the second generation began coming equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Fourth Generation Range Rover

As of 2012, the Range Rover has entered its fourth generation. Unlike the first three generations, the fourth generation Range Rover has an all-aluminium monocoque body design. This new body design makes the fourth generation considerably lighter than the previous three generations. The fourth generation Range Rover has the option of one of three engines, two diesel engines and a 5.0 litre V8 petrol engine. The fourth generation Range Rover offers an 8-speed automatic transmission, but also gives the driver the option of manually selecting the gear through a paddle shift control on the steering wheel. This Range Rover all has all-terrain capability hill start assist, as well as controlled acceleration control. Additionally, this Range Rover comes equipped with front and side passenger airbags, as well as rear-seat passenger airbags.

Comparison of Four Generations of Range Rovers

The following chart outlines the evolution of the Range Rover over the past few decades. The chart compares body style, wheelbase, height, and width of each generation of Range Rover.

Generation

Body Style

Height (mm)

Length (mm)

Wheelbase (mm)

First

three-door or five-door SUV

1,778

4,470

2,540

Second

three-door SUV

1,819

4,712

2,746

Third

five-door SUV

1,877 (since 2010)

4,976 (since 2010)

2,880

Fourth

five-door SUV

1,835

4,999

2,922

This chart describes the basic technical differences between the four generations of Range Rovers, dating back to 1970. A consumer should not substitute this chart for individual research into any specific model.

Other Modern Range Rover Models

There are two additional Range Rover models that are available on the modern market, in addition to the Range Rover Classic. These models offer unique features and capabilities all their own.

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport was first introduced into the market in 2005. The Range Rover Sport has an integrated body frame, semi-monocoque, and independently suspended design, which makes it versatile for both on-road and off-road capabilities. The Range Rover has slightly smaller dimensions than its classic counterpart, and comes equipped with a 4.2 litre all-aluminium Jaguar AJ-V8 engine, which produces 290 kilowatts of power. The Range Rover Sport also comes with the option of a 2.7 litre turbodiesel TDV6 engine. The Range Rover Sport boasts suspension similar to that of a Porsche 911 and incorporates active electro-hydraulic anti-sway bars, which gives a driver exceptional on-road handling around sharp corners and tight turns.

Range Rover Evoque

The Range Rover Evoque is Land Rover's compact SUV, produced in both three-door and five-door versions, with two-wheel and four-wheel drive options. The Range Rover Evoque was produced as a result of a demand for a Land Rover that appealed to strictly urban drivers, desiring a more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly alternative. The interior of the Range Rover has the same upscale and luxury as the rest of the Range Rover models. However, the Range Rover Evoque has three engine choices, all with small displacement, high output to provide the right amount of power with better fuel efficiency. Further, the Range Rover Evoque has a 6-speed automatic transmission that can go from 0 to 97 kilometres/hour in 6.7 seconds.

How to Buy a Range Rover on eBay

While often not the most affordable SUV in the lot, the Range Rover continues to find its place in the automobile market. As a result, there are several variations of Range Rovers available to meet differing needs. eBay has many Range Rover options available from a number of different sellers, whether you are looking for the Range Rover Classic, the Range Rover Sport, or the Range Rover Evoque. Perhaps you are in the market for a 2009 Range Rover Classic and are interested in viewing your purchasing options on eBay. To accomplish this, navigate to the eBay website portal and type 2009 Range Rover into the keyword search box. After you click the search button, a number of options matching this description are subsequently populated for you.

Purchasing a Range Rover is a relatively large investment, no matter what your financial situation. As a result, it is important to know that you are purchasing your desired vehicle form a reliable and reputable seller. To help with this, eBay provides a forum for buyers to leave seller's individual feedback on past purchases. Be sure to take advantage of reading this buyer feedback to help put you at ease that you are purchasing your desired Range Rover from a trustworthy seller.

Conclusion

The modern Range Rover is popular for its size, luxury, and style. However, the original Range Rover Classic was first created as a utility vehicle with practical designs for off-roading and commercial work. As a result of this tension between the original model and today's design, it is evident that the Range Rover has evolved many times since its inception. Further, the modern Range Rover is still capable of handling difficult terrain.

To meet consumer needs, Land Rover has not only redesigned the Range Rover, but has also introduced two variations on the classic model, the Range Rover Sport and the Range Rover Evoque. Both were designed to meet consumers needs of a sportier SUV and a green-friendly take on the classic. A brief look at the history of the Range Rover helps a buyer determine if a vehicle from the Land Rover family is the right vehicle for his or her needs.

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