Happy Birthday Range Rover, 40 today. That’s a pretty good milestone to reach, so to mark the occasion Land Rover has released details of two new Range Rovers.
The less important one is the Autobiography Black, a limited edition to celebrate the anniversary. Nothing much to report except it’s jet black, has a full complement of whistles and bells and around 700 will be made.
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Of more interest is the 2011 model year car which now features a 4.4-litre (up from 3.6) TDV8 diesel and the new eight-speed ZF gearbox as used by BMW, amongst others. This is noteworthy not just for its power and performance improvements, but because of where else in the Jaguar Land Rover empire it might be used.
For the time being what matters is that it develops 309bhp and 516lb ft from 1500-3000rpm and gets itself to 60mph in 7.5sec, while returning 30.1mpg on the combined cycle. Not bad for something that weighs two and three-quarter tonnes. It’s still in the top CO2 band, though.In addition the Terrain Response system has been modified, and new options include electric reclining rear seats and a 1200 watt Harman Kardon stereo.
That’s not all, though. Roger Green has been driving the Range Rover across Wales and you can read about his experiences here, while Ollie Marriage has been racing a Land Rover Freelander against a plane...
A brief history of the Range Rover
1966 Work began on the first Range Rover prototype, known as the '100-inch station wagon' 1970 The original two-door Range Rover – known as the Classic – goes on sale 1971 Range Rover receives the RAC Dewar award for outstanding technical achievement 1972 The Range Rover is the first vehicle to cross the Darien Gap on a British Army Trans-America expedition 1974 Range Rover completes west to east Sahara desert expedition – 7,500 miles in 100 days 1977 A modified Range Rover wins the 4x4 class in the London-Sydney Marathon, a gruelling 30,000 km (18,750 miles) event and the longest ever speed-based car rally 1979 A specially modified Range Rover wins the first Paris-Dakar rally (a Range Rover wins again in 1981) 1981 First production four-door Range Rover appears along with the first factory-produced limited-edition Range Rover – the 'In Vogue' 1982 Automatic transmission becomes available on Range Rover 1983 Range Rover 5-speed manual gearbox is introduced 1985 The diesel-powered Range Rover 'Bullet' breaks 27 speed records, including averaging more than 100mph for 24 hours 1987 Range Rover launched in North America 1989 Range Rover is the world's first 4x4 to be fitted with ABS anti-lock brakes 1990 Limited Edition CSK – named after founder Charles Spencer King – is launched as a sportier Range Rover 1992 Range Rover Classic is the world's first 4x4 to be fitted with electronic traction control (ETC) 1992 Long-wheelbase LSE (known as County LWB in the US) launched 1992 Automatic electronic air suspension introduced, a world first for a 4x4 1994 Second-generation (P38a) Range Rover goes on sale 1996 Range Rover Classic bows out after total production of 317,615 units 1999 Limited Edition Range Rover Linley appears at London Motor Show 2001 All-New Range Rover (L322) launched 2002 Half-millionth Range Rover produced at the Solihull plant 2005 Second model line – the Range Rover Sport – launched 2006 Terrain Response and TDV8 diesel introduced 2009 Range Rover features all-new LR-V8 5.0 and 5.0 supercharged petrol engines and technology updates 2010 Range Rover celebrates its 40th anniversary 2010 All-New compact Range Rover to be revealed at Paris Motor Show