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The Range Rover is a large luxury four-wheel drive sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by British car maker Land Rover, a subsidiary of Jaguar Land Rover, and serves as its flagship model. The model, launched in 1970, is now in its fourth generation. Range Rover is also being developed by Land Rover as its premium brand, and it is used as a brand name on two other models – the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport.
The first-generation Range Rover was produced between 1970 and 1996.
Unlike other 4x4s such as the Jeep Wagoneer, the original Range Rover was not designed as a luxury-type vehicle. While certainly up-market compared to preceding Land Rover models, the early Range Rovers had fairly basic, utilitarian interiors with vinyl seats and plastic dashboards that were designed to be washed down with a hose. Convenience features such as power steering, carpeted floors, air conditioning, cloth/leather seats, and wooden interior trim were fitted later.
The Range Rover was a body-on-frame design with a box section ladder type chassis, like the contemporary Series Land Rovers. The Range Rover utilised coil springs as opposed to leaf springs, permanent four-wheel drive, and four-wheel disc brakes. However, from the third generation a monocoque body structure has been used. The Range Rover was originally powered by the Rover V8 engine. Later models were powered by a 4.4 L BMW V8, until the introduction of a 3.6 litre TDV8 engine.
The first generation model was known as the Range Rover until almost the end of its run, when Land Rover introduced the name Range Rover Classic to distinguish it from its successors.