Words: Mike Ryan Photos: Jaguar Land Rover
Fifty years ago, Land Rover changed the four-wheel drive game with the introduction of the Range Rover. It arguably wasn’t the first “luxury” off-roader, but it became very popular very quickly and set the template for a comfortable, usable and still very capable four-wheel drive that other major manufacturers would follow.
In the five decades since that launch, it’s been proven that just one Range Rover isn’t enough, with the nameplate expanding to a family. The Range Rover Sport was added in 2005, followed by the Evoque in 2010 and, most recently, the Velar in 2017.
To celebrate 50 years since the Range Rover’s debut, Jaguar Land Rover are releasing a special edition - the Range Rover ‘Fifty’.
Reflecting the launch year of the original Range Rover, the Range Rover ‘Fifty’ will be limited to just 1,970 units globally. Like the original Range Rover from 1970, the special edition was launched on the same date - 17 June.
Based on the up-spec Autobiography trim level, the Fifty will be available in both standard- and long-wheelbase versions, with a choice of diesel and petrol engines for most markets.
What defines the Fifty against a regular Range Rover Autobiography are a number of special features, starting with bespoke exterior accents in ‘Auric Atlas’ – a very subtle, pale metallic gold finish that’s applied to the front guard vents, lower bodyside trims, grille trim, lower bumper detailing and tailgate trim. Optional to this is a gloss black treatment of the same components.
The Fifty will also offer a choice of two unique 22-inch wheel designs. These are also an inch larger than the rims regularly fitted to the Autobiography.
The main colour options for the Range Rover Fifty are Carpathian Grey, Santorini Black, Rosello Red and Aruba, but Range Rover will also offer an “extremely limited” number of these vehicles from the 1,970 unit total in “heritage colours” inspired by what was offered in 1970. These include Bahama Gold, Davos White and Tuscan Blue. Unfortunately for Australian customers, the heritage colors will not be offered here.
Identifying the limited-edition inside and out are special ‘Fifty’ badges in a script style that was created by Prof. Gerry McGovern OBE, Land Rover’s Chief Creative Officer, especially for this model. The badging graces the front guards, illuminated inner door sills, front seat headrests and dash.
“In the world of luxury vehicles, the Range Rover has always stood apart as peerless and enduring,” said McGovern. “Its unique and pioneering sensibilities, together with an unrivalled engineering approach, have been the intrinsic values which our customers have admired since the first of the breed was revealed in 1970.”
Each Fifty will also wear a “1 of 1970” plaque on the centre console.
Being based on the Autobiography means a choice (for most markets) of the SDV8 4.4-litre turbodiesel V8 producing 250kW and 740Nm, or the supercharged 5.0-litre petrol V8 that produces 386kW and 625Nm, with supercar-like acceleration of 5.4 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint.
Both engines are matched to eight-speed automatic transmissions, with the turbodiesel offering listed fuel economy of 9.3lt/100km, while the supercharged petrol V8 is thirstier, at 12.8lt/100km.
For all its unique colours and special badging, the Range Rover Fifty will remain true to the spirit and purpose of the 1970 original, with standard all-wheel drive, incorporating Land Rover’s All Terrain Progress Control and Terrain Response 2 systems as standard.
An Active Rear Locking Diff is standard on the diesel and optional on the supercharged petrol, with other features including Hill Launch Assist, Hill Descent Control, Dynamic Stability Control, Electronic Traction Control, Roll Stability Control, Cornering Brake Control, Electronic Air Suspension with speed lowering function, Adaptive Dynamics and a low traction launch function.
Convenience features include Automatic Access Height that lowers the ride height for occupant entry, Trailer Stability Assist and electric towing preparation, with Advanced Tow Assist optional.
Thirty-Seven for Aus
Australian allocation of the Range Rover Fifty is limited to 37 units in total, each of which will be on the standard wheelbase Autobiography, with the supercharged petrol V8 the only engine offered.
While the Carpathian Grey, Santorini Black, Rosello Red and Aruba colours will be offered on locally-delivered units, the trio of heritage colours will not.
Pricing has yet to be revealed, but the Autobiography attracts list pricing of $233,100 for the SDV8 and $235,690 for the Supercharged V8, equating to around $265,000 and $280,000 on the road. The Fifty will attract a premium above this, possibly pushing it to over $300,000 drive away.