Important Days for Land Rover
These are, indeed, interesting times for Land Rover. For one thing, it is presently celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Range Rover, which the company describes as “the world's first vehicle as good on-road as off-road. It was the first fully capable luxury 4x4 and was a milestone in the development of the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle).” So depending on your point of view on SUVs, that’s an immensely good thing, or not. There have been three generations of the Range Rover, starting with the Classic of 1970, which had a run of some 25 years. It was replaced in 1994 by the P38a, which was in production until 2001, when it was replaced by the current L322. In 2005, an offspring was launched, the Range Rover Sport. The Queen—not surprisingly--owns all three generations.
The designer of the original vehicle, Charles Spenser King, recently died in Coventry, England, at age 85. King was the nephew of Spencer and Maurice Wilks, who founded Land Rover in 1948. King had been working on the design of Rover cars when tasked with what was to become the early SUV. King was quoted as saying, “The idea was to combine the comfort and on-road ability of a Rover saloon with the off-road ability of a Land Rover. Nobody was doing it at the time. It seemed worth a try and Land Rover needed a new product.” Clearly King had talent and this wasn’t a matter of nepotism: the Classic was actually exhibited at the Louvre in 1970.
Earlier this week, during a birthday party, a photo of an all-new compact Range Rover was released. The vehicle, named the Evoque, will be officially debuted at the Paris Motor Show on September 30.
The vehicle will be manufactured at the company’s plant in Halewood, England. It will be sold in over 160 countries.
Gerry McGovern, current Land Rover design director, said: “The Range Rover is an iconic design that has stood the test of time and it’s not difficult to see why. Like the current version, the original Range Rover is such a simple and memorable shape that is easily recognizable.
“The all-new Range Rover Evoque marks a bold evolution of Range Rover design, providing customers with a desirable, premium and compact car-like SUV. In 2008 we introduced the LRX concept car: after a positive reception worldwide, the natural step for the business was to turn the LRX concept car into reality.” Thus, the Evoque.