Land Rover has become synonymous with luxury off-road vehicles, which are specifically designed for drivers that might want to drive on all terrains in style.
The term “Land Rover” originally referred to a specific model (pictured) that was designed to become one of the first multi-purpose commercial vehicles.
The inspiration for the model came from Maurice Wilks, chief designer at the British car company Rover, who wanted to recreate the power and durability of the American World War II Jeep.
This first Land Rover model was launched in 1948 at the Amsterdam Motor Show and in the years that followed it became a brand and vehicle manufacturer in its own right.
Initial success was mainly due to the aluminium and magnesium alloy that was used in the construction of the Land Rover’s bodywork. This substance allowed the vehicles to remain as light-weight as possible and yet still provided toughness and an aversion to corrosion, which helped to build the Land Rover’s reputation of producing long-lasting vehicles.
In subsequent years other models were designed and launched and proved to be highly successful and popular with the public. Of these models the most significant were the Series III (which was launched in 1970), the 5-door Range Rover (which was launched in 1980) and the Land Rover 90 (which was released in 1983).
In the late eighties Land Rover showed significant signs of growth and became successful enough to introduce their models to the U.S market. This move helped to establish the company as a worldwide producer of 4×4 vehicles, second only to Jeep.
Within the next decade Range Rover went on to introduce the highly popular Discovery, the second-generation Range Rover and in 1997 the Ranger Rover Freelander.
More recently, the company released the Range Rover Sport in 2005 (pictured below) and May of 2007 saw the 4,000,000th Land Rover roll off the production line. The model was a Discovery 3 (LR3) and it was generously donated to The Born Free Foundation.
As of June 2008, Range Rover was sold to Tata Motors and this decision has only helped to strengthen the company’s image and manufacturing capabilities. The sale of the company led to the design and development of low-carbon electric Ranger Rovers.
These plans are currently in development and involve the installation of new ERAD diesel-electric hybrid motors into many of Land Rovers’ power-trains and models. In fact, these plans came to fruition in 2008 when the low-carbon engine was installed into two Freelancer prototypes, as part of a demonstration at the London Motor Show.
The genius of this technology lies in its ability to allow a car to pull off without needing to start the engine. It also enables the vehicle to be powered by the electric motor when it is running at speeds below 20 mph.
Could this mark the future for Land Rover?