The new Special Vehicle Operations division will build just 20 Range Rover Holland & Holland models in 2014, 40 more are planned for 2015, and then a final 40 in 2016. They are aimed specifically at the wealthy end of the outdoor sports market – Holland & Holland is, of course, the famous manufacturer of sporting guns – and a key feature is a beautifully made gun case in the rear that motors out on a powered floor for improved access.
Based on the long-wheelbase L405 Range Rover, and specifically on the Autobiography Black with its full complement of toys, the Holland & Holland is exquisitely finished. Cue such things as a special rear console and interior door releases engraved with the acanthus scroll to match the style of Holland & Holland guns (the guns can cost £40,000-50,000 a go, in case you were wondering). It will be available with either the 4.4-litre twin-turbo SDV8 diesel or the 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 petrol.
At £180k, the Range Rover Holland & Holland makes other premium SUVs look positively cheap. But, consider what this new limited edition has to do for Land Rover. In the next couple of years, Bentley will introduce its new SUV, there will be a new Porsche Cayenne, and of course Mercedes is moving ever closer to the Range Rover with its latest GLS model. So the point of the Holland & Holland is to stake Land Rover's claim to a place at the very top of the SUV market before the newcomers arrive.
This isn't the first time Land Rover has got together with Holland & Holland to produce a high-end special-edition Range Rover. The first one arrived in 1999 and was based on the then-current P38 model. Deliveries began in 2000, and a total of 400 were made.
Then in 2009, Range Rover aftermarket specialist Overfinch created a Holland & Holland edition based on the L322, although H&H say that only about 10 of the planned 100 were made before Overfinch changed hands and production was halted.
One way or another, the Holland & Holland editions have always been and will clearly remain very exclusive creations. When did you last see one?