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70 Years of 4X4 Excellence

Since the launch of the first ever Land Rover Series I in 1948 at the Amsterdam motor show, UK manufacturer Land Rover has gone on to sell more than 7 million models.

During 70 years of Land Rover, the off-road maker has developed itself quite the reputation, and is considered the pinnacle in off-road vehicles. Legendary 4X4 vehicles such as the Defender and Range Rover are hugely popular throughout the world. We take a look at some of the key moments in their incredible 70-year history, as part of the Land Rover 70 celebrations.

1940's
1948

Land Rover Series I

The legendary Land Rover name started 70 years ago, with the birth of the iconic Land Rover Series I. Launched as a multipurpose off-road vehicle, the Series I featured just 50bhp from a 1.6-litre petrol engine. It became a roaring success for Land Rover who successfully exported it around the world to approximately 70 countries.

Land Rover Series I
1950's
1958

Land Rover Series II

Ten years later, the Land Rover Series II was launched. It helped Land Rover go from strength to strength and by the end of the ‘50s over 250,000 Land Rovers had been sold worldwide.

Land Rover Series II
1970's
1970

Land Rover Range Rover

Another important milestone in the history of Land Rover, the birth of the legendary Range Rover. Coming with headline features such as independent suspension and of course a new iconic V8 engine. It was also the first vehicle to feature permanent 4-wheel drive, along with the now iconic split tailgate.

Land Rover Range Rover
1971

Land Rover Series III

As with many new generations of vehicle, the Land Rover Series III received multiple enhancements. These included a synchromesh gearbox and braking upgrades on the long-wheelbase version. The interior of the Series III benefited from a revised instrument pack, along with a new top roll upon the facia. Visually, the Series III received a revised lighting layout in a styled fender-front recess, accompanied by a new plastic radiator grille.

Land Rover Series III
1976

1 Million

An incredible achievement was made by Land Rover in the mid ‘70s, with Land Rover producing their 1 millionth vehicle. Land Rover was a brand going places!

1980's
1981

Land Rover Range Rover 5-door

Interestingly, it was not until 11 years after the original Range Rover 3-door waslaunched that Land Rover followed up the Range Rover with a 5-door variant. Just a year later Range Rover production reached 100,000 units.

Land Rover Range Rover 5-door
1983

Land Rover One Ten Launched

An updated addition to the Land Rover line-up, the One Ten featured coil spring suspension from the Range Rover. The One Ten followed on from the Series I, II and III.

Land Rover One Ten
1984

Land Rover Ninety

The Land Rover Ninety featured new doors which featured wind-up windows. It carried on from the One Ten and Series models. A natural evolution of the very first Land Rover.

Land Rover Ninety
1988

Another Milestone - 40th Anniversary of Land Rover

The late ‘80s saw Land Rover reach its 40th anniversary with total sales of over 1.6-million vehicles worldwide.

1989

Birth of the Land Rover Discovery

Just before the nineties, Land Rover launched their first new model since the Range Rover back in 1970. It featured a distinctive single rear door where the spare wheel was mounted also. Called the Discovery, it took Land Rover into different markets, being more competitive in the process.

Land Rover Discovery
1990's
1990

Land Rover Defender is Launched

Originally called the One Ten and Ninety, the Defender name/model was created in 1990. This was due to the expanding Land Rover range and brand strategy. The Defender was the successor to the very first Land Rover Series I launched in 1948 with the iconic boxy proportions staying true in the updated ‘90s design.

Land Rover Defender
1992

First Time Features

The early nineties saw Land Rover apply electronic traction control and air suspension on the long-wheelbase Range Rover HSE, the first of its kind in an off-road vehicle.

1997

Freelander is Launched

The late nineties saw another completely new Land Rover model, in the form of the Freelander. It was offered in two body styles, a conventional five-door and a more sports focused three-door.

Land Rover Freelander
2000's
2003

BBC Top Gear name Land Rover ‘The Greatest Car of All Time’

An icon since 1948, the original Land Rover (now known as the Land Rover Defender) is aptly named Greatest Car of All Time by viewers of popular television motoring programme Top Gear.

2005

Range Rover Sport

A sports version of the Range Rover is launched, to accompany the existing Range Rover. It features a Jaguar-derived 4.2-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine.

Range Rover Sport
2010's
2011

Range Rover Evoque Launched

A new subcompact luxury crossover SUV, the Evoque was produced in both five and three-door. It was later available in a two-door convertible too (2017). It made the Range Rover brand more accessible.

Range Rover Evoque
2013

Jaguar Land Rover Merger

In 2013 Land Rover merged with Jaguar to create Jaguar Land Rover. Producing an exciting array of performance, luxury and off-road vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover Merger
2014

Special Vehicle Operations

Set up to concentrate on the specialist, low volume products and bespoke services of the JLR SVO brand. Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) acts as the halo brand and produces ultra-high performance and bespoke luxury vehicles. Examples include the Range Rover Sport SVR – an ultra-high-performance SUV and the Range Rover Sentinel – a bespoke luxury armoured vehicle.

Special Vehicle Operations
2017

Range Rover Velar Launched

The avant-garde Range Rover, the Range Rover Velar sits between the entry-level Evoque and Range Rover Sport in the Range Rover range. It has already been judged the most beautifully designed vehicle on the planet, winning the World Car Design of 2018 at the World Car Awards.

Range Rover Velar
2018

First Range Rover PHEV

With electric power high on the agenda for car manufacturers everywhere, Land Rover chose 2018 to release their first Plug-In Hybrid vehicle, in the form of a Range Rover PHEV and Range Rover Sport PHEV. Both models retain the quality and luxury of the Range Rover yet offer clever hybrid technology, giving a great foundation for Land Rover electric technology, and for future models.

First Range Rover PHEV
2018

Defender Works V8 70th Edition

Despite the Defender ending production in 2016, almost 70 years after it’s Land Rover Series birth in 1948, as a 70th birthday celebration, Land Rover decided to bring back the Defender one last time. In doing so, they have created the most powerful and refined Land Rover Defender ever. A V8 powered 400bhp limited-run special edition. It can accomplish 60mph in just 5.6 seconds.

Defender Works V8 70th Edition
2019

The Future

We wonder what the next 70 years hold for Land Rover, and the Jaguar Land Rover brand? It promises to be as pivotal and exciting as the last 70 years

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