Over the past 50 years, Land Rover has been the pioneer in the SUV market. Their vehicles have also shown the technological marvels with cutting edge technology. In fact, they always boast that they vehicles can go anywhere in the world. They only focused on manufacturing SUVs instead of sedans or hatchbacks. Furthermore, their vehicles have been featured in countless movie franchises as well. Their Range Rover series stands as their flagship model. Range Rover is said to be the most capable vehicle on the planet. There are many other competitors like Land Cruiser by Toyota, but none has managed to beat the legacy of the Range Rover.
Here are some fascinating facts about Land Rover:
The two brothers Maurice and Spencer Wilks built the first Land Rover in 1947 after the Second World War. In their interview, they said that they were inspired from the military grade Willy’s Jeep. Maurice was the chief designer of the first Rover. While Spencer was the managing director of the company.
How and why they created the first Rover:
Maurice and Spencer were poor farmers and used to spend most of their time on farming at Isle of Anglesey, North Wales. For farming, they required a hybrid vehicle like a light truck. For this reason, they bought an American Willy Jeep. And during those days after the Second World War their many property clearance sales. So, they bought the vehicle, but it got worn-out. Instead of buying a new one they designed their own. Well, that’s something inspirational!
The built of the first Rover:
It was the time post World War. England was facing a huge economic depression and there was a huge shortage of raw materials like Steel. Because the steel was used in manufacturing weapons and vehicles. However, there was an abundance of aluminum. Therefore, the brothers decided to use aluminum in their vehicle. Furthermore, the aluminum was anti-corrosive in nature, which further strengthens the built.
The introduction of the first model:
The brothers showcased the first model in 1948, at the Amsterdam Motor Show. And they offered only a single configuration for the customers. Furthermore, they boasted their car as “farmer’s friend”. For this reason, the car was often mounted with farming tools.
Its rapid success:
By the launch of the first Land Rover. It was warmly received by the market. As a result, three thousand units were sold in the first year of production. And by the end of 1968, the company successfully managed to sell over 50,000 units worldwide.
In 1950 Land Rover announced improved gearbox with all-wheel drive models. Now the customers had the choice to choose from various wheelbase length. This further increased the off-road capabilities.
Military grade reliability:
The original Land Rover was meant to be a farmer’s vehicle. But the unmatched reliability gave it the recognition in the military. In fact, several countries adapted the original Land Rover as a light utility vehicle in their military. The company gained global presence by supplying their vehicles to various militaries worldwide.
The emergence of Range Rover:
In the early 60s, there was a huge demand for these four-wheel drive vehicles. However, many people argued that they were too crude for more civilian conditions (city). Land Rover faced the challenge to deliver a vehicle with all the off-road capabilities but with a civilized appeal. The answer to this problem was the Range Rover, a family car that offered the world class off-road capabilities. This was a complete breakthrough in the SUV market.
Known as a work of art:
The Musée du Louvre, Paris exhibition showcased the Range Rover as an “exemplary piece of industrial design”. This is really remarkable because no other automotive manufacturer has ever achieved such an honor.
People doubted Range Rover:
with the release of their new family car, Range Rover. People considered it as an amateur vehicle and often said that it lacked the same glory as the previous Land Rover vehicles. But all of these doubts were proved wrong when the British soldiers took the Range Rover for a rally from Alaska to Argentina. The Range Rover became the first vehicle to conquer the Americas from north-to-south. Today also there are few cars that could handle this level of torture. The Range Rover was capable enough to stand six months long endurance test.
In the 70s and 80s Land Rover gained more recognition around the world. As they performed really well in the Paris-Dakar Rally. They demonstrated some incredible capabilities of their off-road vehicles.
They came to the Americas:
Range Rover came to America on March 16, 1987. And with the launch, it became a massive success. Their vehicles were providing an air conditioner and cruise control, automatic gearbox, electric sun roof as standard.
The launch of Discovery:
In the 80s economy wasn’t going well. Cars were expensive and only a few could afford it. As a result, Land Rover saw this opportunity and launched a lighter vehicle with Range Rover wheel base. Land Rover introduced the Discovery on 16 September 1989 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Since then, the Land Rover Discovery has been an iconic all-wheel drive vehicle after the Range Rover.
The 1992 Range Rover:
The company introduced a latest V8 engine into their flagship model. In fact, Land Rover brought many new updates into their Range Rover. They brought electronic traction control, air suspension etc. All of these upgrades made the Range Rover a luxury car instead of a traditional SUV. Those days Land Rover was using the most complex technology in their SUV. This made the Range Rover ahead of its time.
They discontinued the original Range Rover:
In 1996 the company decided to end the production of their iconic SUV the original Range Rover. Throughout its reign of 26 years, 317,615 units were sold.
Continuous change of ownership:
Over the years Land Rover has changed it owner several times. In 1994 the company was bought by the German giant BMW. Then in 2000, the company got broken up by BMW and it got sold to the American Ford. Later in 2008, Tata Motors purchased the Land Rover and Jaguar together.