The King Goes Hybrid — Range Rover P400E Autobiography
When the covers came off the very first Range Rover in June of 1970, the whole world sat up and took notice, because there was nothing on four wheels that offered such a combination of abilities. It could seat five in enclosed comfort, carry a sizable amount of goods, do 160kmph on road (without falling over at the first corner) and could go off-road just as well as the farmer’s favourite series Land Rovers, thanks to long-travel coil springs and a compact footprint. Press and public alike loved the thing and it was even exhibited at the Louvre in Paris as an “Exemplary work of industrial design”!
Originally launched as a fairly utilitarian thing with a hose-down interior, it didn’t take long for Rover to realize that buyers were asking for more luxury. They delivered one with nicer trim and more toys, a four-door version in 1981 and more. The original Range Rover lasted an incredible 26 years on the market and by the time it was finally replaced in 1996 it had established a practically unassailable position as the one-true-king of SUV hill.