Interesting facts and figures about Land Rover
Like Bentley, McLaren, and other British automakers, Land Rover has become a symbol of luxury and performance. The company, currently owned by Tata Motors India, has been known to have ferried the Queen at countless ceremonial events, and is even preferred by 007. The brand has been around for over half a century. Here, we list some of the lesser-known facts about it.
In 1885, Maurice Wilks founded the Rover Company, originally as a bicycle manufacturer. However, after the end of World War-II, Maurice and his brother Spencer started focusing on utilitarian agricultural SUVs. In 1947, the Rover Company designed the Series 1 model using a US military's Jeep 4x4 and introduced the first-ever Land Rover. This model came with a central driving position.
Not many people know about Rover's royal connection. In 1948, King George VI was gifted a Rover; two years later, the company (along with Jaguar) was granted three Royal Warrants from Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Meanwhile, it was in 1952 that Queen Elizabeth took delivery of her first Rover.
Over the past 50 years, Land Rover has supplied several official "State Review Vehicles" to the Royal family. However, the current model is truly one-of-a-kind. At present, the Queen's car is a bespoke long-wheel-base Range Rover that's not only convertible but also eco-friendly. It has a soft top landaulet and runs on a hybrid drivetrain including a 3.0-liter V6 engine and mild electric motor.
In 1970, Land Rover launched its first-ever Range Rover as a powerful midsize SUV with incredible off-roading abilities, four-wheel-drive transmission, and a five-passenger cabin. This original Range Rover became the first car to be showcased in the Louvre Museum in Paris as an "exemplary work of industrial design." For the uninitiated, the Louvre houses 35,000 masterpieces and antiques including Leonardo da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa'.
Interestingly, Land Rover has been associated with the James Bond franchise since Skyfall. Over the years, various modified versions of the Defender and the Range Rover Sport SVR have been spotted in his movies. Notably, for the upcoming finale, Bond 25 (releasing April 8, 2020), Rover has provided a slightly tweaked model of the 1970s-era Series III - the predecessor to the famous Defender.