From the time of the first reveal of the Range Rover in 1970, the model has continuously evolved according to market and environmental expectations. It was dubbed several times as the world’s most luxurious SUV. The Range Rover wagon features sophisticated equipment and advanced technology, which make it stand out from competitors within the same class. The Range Rover was characterised from the start by large engine capacities and off-road abilities that others were not equipped to handle.
First-Generation Range Rover Wagon (1970 -1996)
It was unveiled in 1970 and maintained for more than two decades without significant adjustments. It was the product of screen testing of the Velar concept. The wagon SUV earned attention and acclaim from automotive journalists and enthusiasts. The Range Rover utilised a body-on-frame approach. Like the Land Rover Discovery, it has high-capacity petrol engines and lower-capacity diesel units. The diesel engines include a 2.5 TD and 2.5 TDI, which provide 89 kW and 83 kW, respectively. There is an option for a 3.5-litre or 3.9-litre V8 engine capable of 123 kW and 136 kW, respectively. Each engine option linked to a five-speed manual transmission. The first generation had the name of ‘Range Rover’ for a lot of its lifetime, and then it became the Range Rover Classic towards the end. The goal of the moniker was to separate it from the previous model years.
The 1972 model year of this generation reached Australia in a 2-door 5-seat base trim model, packed with a detuned Buick-sourced 3.5-litre V8 petrol engine that produced a power output of 97 kW and peak torque of 250 Nm. Later in the generation, 4-door models replaced the 2-door Rovers. Land Rover also introduced a Highline trim with higher-spec equipment, including air conditioning, alloy wheels, central locking, power mirrors and windows, metallic paint, and radio cassette with four speakers. The engine was also upgraded to produce 110 kW and 255 Nm.
In 1979, Jaguar-Rover-Australia set up a Range Rover assembly facility in New South Wales but discontinued operations in 1983 due to steep tariffs imposed by the government.
For the rest of the generation, the following engines filled the range:
- 2.4-litre VM turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine (84 kW, 248 Nm), 5-speed manual
- 3.9-litre V8 petrol engine (134 kW, 304 Nm), 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual
Second-Generation Range Rover Wagon (1994-2002)
The second generation made significant improvements in the luxury department, including better cabin and slight alterations to the headlamps. The rectangular ones replaced the circular headlights that resembled the Land Rover series. The second generation also upgraded the Rover V8 power trains and included a 2.5-litre turbo-diesel option from BMW.
The luxury brand was updated to keep up with the G Klasse and other Japanese contenders such as Toyota and Nissan, who were fast learning the importance of SUVs in the market. Air suspension was added to the overall kit to provide a smoother ride, with anti-lock braking inserted for added security.
The 2.5-litre turbo-diesel had an output of 100 kW while the 4.0-litre V8 churned 136 KW. There was top-of-the-line 4.5-litre V8 as well, doing 166 kW. At this time, the transmission options were a four-speed automatic. The second generation was the last to have the Rover V8 and leather interior from Connolly as they went out of business in 2002.
Third-Generation Range Rover Wagon (2002 – 2012)
The third generation made marked improvements to the model, pushing it further upmarket in terms of quality. It dropped the manual transmission for the automatic. It was the first to be constructed with a monocoque body.
Range Stormer (2004)
The Stormer concept would become famous for showcasing the next design direction of the Range Rover and the bold approach using new technology for the vehicles going forward.
Range Rover Sport (2005)
The Stormer was the prelude to the Range Rover Sport, which became the flagship of the Rover family for the next five years. The facelift consisted of exterior modifications. The only thing which changed underneath was the engine options.
The BMW engines were replaced with alternatives from Ford. For the diesel category, there was a 2.9 TD6 and a 3.6 TDV8. For the petrol section, a 4.2-litre supercharged V8 was available along with a 4.4-litre V8 unit. The output of the petrol engines was 291 kW and 225 kW, respectively. The diesel engines churned out 130 kW and 200 KW.
The Sport provided cross-linked air suspension, allowing the driver to have options on ride height. It also allowed for better four-wheel driving.
Fourth-Generation Range Rover Wagon (2012 to the present)
The fourth-generation represents the culmination of the evolution of the Range Rover. Significant technological improvements were going into this era, including more efficient engines.
For the first time, Land Rover offered a hybrid option for the Range Rover lineup. There are three petrol engines, which include a 3.0-litre SC V6, 5.0-litre SC V8 and 5.0-litre V8. At the highest level, the output is 376 kW, while the standard model has a peak power of 276 kW.
There are three diesel variants as well, including a 3.0 TDV6, 3.0 V6 Biturbo, and a 4.4 V8. The Biturbo has an output of 190 kW while the 4.4-litre V8 is capable of 250 kW. There is a 3.0-litre V6 hybrid, which provides 215 kW. Each of the engine options on the fourth generation is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Range Rover Sport SVR (2015)
This iteration was designed to provide an SUV with high output levels. The Sport SVR gained its name from the Special Vehicle Operations Team. It was the fastest Land Rover ever built as the acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is 4.5 seconds, and it had a top speed of 280 km/h. It utilised a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 F-type engine with an output of 410 kW.
There are around 40 trim levels of the Range Rover Sport currently offered in Australia. The powertrain choices include various combinations of petrol, diesel or petrol hybrid power units ranging from 2.0-litre to 5.0-litre capacity, all linked to 8-speed ZF automatic transmissions.
Maintaining your vehicles comes hand in hand with owning one. A Range Rover will need upkeep and replacement of worn parts. At Carpart.com.au, we have a wide array of auto parts and accessories available from thousands of suppliers from all over the country. Please take a look at what's currently on offer or send us a parts request!