Happy birthday, Land Rover! The iconic British automaker turned 70 years young last month, initially debuting back in 1948 at the Amsterdam Motor Show with one self-titled product, meant as a stopgap solution for a country still healing from war. Fast forward to present day and countless global sales later, lets take a moment to celebrate one of the most recognizable and loved 4×4 marques.
“Land Rover was born with the launch of a single vehicle. Today our family of SUVs is testament to the pioneering spirit of innovation that has characterised Land Rover for seven decades. Our family of Defender, Discovery and Range Rover models provides unrivalled capability, versatility and luxury, giving us the perfect foundation for another 70 years of success,” said Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth.
Here’s a brief timeline of the earlier days. The utilitarian Series I came first, followed by a long wheelbase version in 1953. In 1970, the two-door Range Rover Classic was unveiled, the first automobile featuring permanent four-wheel drive. The one millionth Land Rover rolled onto the factory floor in 1976. Land Rover’s third unique offering, the Discovery, was released in 1989, and a fourth, the Freelander, in 1997.
This brings us to the 2000s. The beginning of the new millennium saw the refinement of existing models, with the Range Rover and Discovery both entering third generations. In recent times the company has experimented with integrating lightweight materials and cutting edge technology into production, as well as establishing the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division focused on increasing performance and the level of bespoke luxury.
Since 2010, in keeping with the pulse of the industry, Land Rover has turned its attention to more compact form factors, creating the compact Evoque, then the Discovery Sport and just last year, the smooth-looking Velar wearing the brand’s latest “reductionism” design language.
“Land Rover is so much more than just the most capable all-terrain vehicles. It connects people through a passion for adventure and making more of our world. From our employees to customers and enthusiasts, this is the family that makes Land Rover special,” says Speth.
View the entire lineup of new 2018 SUVs here.