Land Rover's Range Rover has been around for more than 40 years, but it only came to the U.S. in 1987. Since then, the parent company has survived a number of ownership changes, including the Rover Group, British Aerospace, BMW, Ford, and finally, its current owners, Tata.
In the 25 years since its launch here, the Range Rover has won an intensely loyal following, not just among luxury SUV drivers, but among off-roading enthusiasts--and that continues to show in the various Land Rover Driving Experience schools across the U.S.
As the video below demonstrates, the serious off-road capability of the Range Rover and other Land Rover vehicles is at least as important to the brand as its luxury image. Even though many, perhaps even the vast majority, of Range Rovers rarely if ever see that capability actually put to the test, it's part of what makes the Range Rover the icon it has become.
The future of the Range Rover is looking good, too, as our spy video and photos of the upcoming 2013 model show. We expect the powertrains of the current model to carry forward largely unchanged, though a hybrid version could be added around 2014-2015, aimed at bringing highway gas mileage up to the 33 mpg mark.
The 2013 Range Rover will be launched toward the end of this year. The newest member of the Range Rover lineup, the Evoque, is already off to a solid start--though some have questioned the rationale behind the Evoque Convertible Concept shown at this month's Geneva Motor Show. Does the new model fit with the brand's image built over the last quarter century? With the changes coming to our cities, our laws, and our use of fuels, what might the next 25 years hold for Land Rover? We don't know, but we look forward to finding out.