While most things evolve to meet the lifestyle needs of today, there are those that remain tried and true. In the world of Land Rover vehicles, a dedication to the delivery of a seamless driving experience defines each and every offering. The predecessors of the Range Rover available today have seen it all – and remain the favoured choice among avid explorers and adventurers.
(Image via Vintage Ad Gallery)
*****Article by Angelo Manuel*****
So versatile has each offering been that they have collectively made their presence felt in the world of agriculture, the military, high society and even Hollywood blockbusters. However, as the needs of new and old customers are rapidly changing, the journey of discovery is an on-going one where the creation of each offering is concerned. To deliver and surpass this benchmark, the Land Rover team pays close attention to feedback to deliver nothing short of automotive excellence, with that trademark sturdiness and drivability the brand has been famed for since its inception.
The Series 1 Land Rover was given to Sir Winston Churchill as an 80th birthday present
(Image via The Telegraph)
History In The Making
Today, the latest Range Rover models are a statement in luxury, presented with robust, yet elegant bodies, while equipped with the latest in technology. Therefore, the latest incarnations are in fact luxury vehicles which stand tall beside the top notch offerings by other manufacturers and remain a class above.
In fact, the very first Range Rovers were designed to meet the needs of a niche market, which would go on to define the needs of those who desired a new standard of driving experience. The very first incarnation of the Range Rover series first made its appearance in 1948 as the Land Rover and was strictly utilitarian; it was primarily designed for use by both the agricultural and military market. And, as you would guess this ‘old faithful’ presented endless practical applications during a time when the transportation of goods was still heavily reliant on physical labour, and society’s elite wished to explore new horizons around the world.
Even during that time, the need to continuously evolve could not be ignored – as those who sought the vehicles at the time were clearly split into more than one segment. There were those who favoured the practicality of the vehicles as an aid to their vocations, as well as those who wanted a more leisurely experience as they crossed borders to experience new frontiers.
Seeing that there was no ‘one size fits all’ in the original Land Rover – which was in fact a smashing success the world over, the then Rover company set out to deliver a plethora of vehicles to meet the needs of both urban and industrial trends. The year 1951 saw the introduction of the Road Rover which had more of a station wagon look – which placed more emphasis on on-road drivability with off-road capabilities as a secondary consideration.
Seeing the success of this approach among the more urban consumer, the Road Rover Series II rolled out. in 1957, sporting a more saloon-like approach while equipped for an even more comfortable on-road experience.
Defining the Future
The introduction of technologically-updated offerings that met the needs of both markets through the following years saw the popularity of the Rovers increase exponentially. However, it was not until the 70s that we would see the best of both come together in the first perfect marriage, which was the Range Rover Classic.
The adventurous move by the company would set the template for all Range Rover marques to come, offering the very best of saloon car comfort and off-road capabilities. As a testament to the ingenuity of its design, the iconic Range Rover Classic design remained a faithful companion for nearly 30 years, and was further developed upon to meet the needs of the growing clientele. Some of its most unique variations included the armored ‘popemobile’ in which Pope John Paul II was often seen, and the six- wheel Firetender model which became a staple on airfields around the world.
Fast forward two generations later to 2012, and you can instantly tell that the latest Range Rover has come a long way from its humble roots more than half a century ago, reflecting the modern lifestyle of today in every aspect. Design-wise, the new Range Rover transcends all generations with an iconic look that even old fans of the brand can instantly identify with. This model featured bold design elements that hint at luxury, adventure, a highly customisable nature and superior technology.
As the brand did over half a century ago to meet the needs of urban drivers with the Road Rover, the new Range Rover Evoque reaffirms Land Rover’s ability to time and again meet the needs of both niche and mainstream markets. Meticulously tailored to deliver the very best of both worlds by stamping a new class of luxury and off-road superiority, the Evoque has been critically received worldwide. Garnering numerous international awards for all aspects of its design, it is easy to see why the Evoque fully meets the needs of a new class of adventurer altogether.
Undeniably, the standards set by the latest Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque are hard to top. However, if history is any guide, our needs as city dwellers and adventurers do not cease to evolve. And given their attentiveness to those needs, we can be sure that Land Rover will continue its tradition of innovation to deliver vehicles that bring out the best in lifestyles around the world.