The Range Rover 4x4, one of the world's best known SUVs celebrates its fortieth birthday today. The first generation model was launched in June 1970 and soon set the standard for luxury 4x4s worldwide. Early models had two doors and a horizontally split rear tailgate and were powered by a 3500cc Rover V8. Innovative, at the time, was the permanent four-wheel-drive system and diff-lock in conjunction with the two-speed transfer box. The interior of the earliest models was designed to be hosed out as the seats were covered in plastic and rubber mats covered the floor.
Four-door models followed as the Range Rover became more luxurious and subsequently new generations of the vehicle as Land Rover sought to ensure that the Range Rover remained king of the hill. Land Rover's engineers balanced the opposing demands of off-road ability and increasing luxury in the world's premier 4x4 SUV. Recent sales figures prove that the Range Rover is still very much in demand right around the globe.