Thursday, December 19, 2013
When setting out to find a new vehicle, you have a wide variety of types and brands to choose from. One brand that specializes in the manufacturing of sport utility vehicles is Land Rover. But how did your Portland Land Rover come to be?
Shortly after World War II, two British brothers who owned the Rover automobile company were inspired by the military’s use of Jeeps to create an all-terrain vehicle. This vehicle was designed to appeal to farmers, but the rugged vehicle would go on to do much more. The first Land Rover was mostly composed of aluminum, as the steel supply was limited after the war, and featured a permanent four-wheel drive. The Land Rover has proven to be ideal for emergency vehicles, rail vehicles, safari vehicles, and for expeditions carried out all over the world. In 1970, the Land Rover Range Rover was introduced. Around the same time, the company was purchased by the British auto-making company Leyland Motors Ltd.
The Range Rover was designed to be just as tough and rugged as the original Land Rovers, but more comfortable for everyday driving as well. In the year of its introduction, the Range Rover was tested with an over 1,000-mile journey across the Sahara desert. In the 1980s, the company was acquired by British Aerospace. In 1987, the Land Rover was finally introduced to North America. In 1989, a new Land Rover model, the Discovery, was produced. Still keeping to the traditional rugged, four-wheel drive models, the discovery also catered to a comfortable interior. It would also be the first vehicle to receive the Terrain Response system, allowing the driver to choose a setting that best matched the terrain conditions for better handling.
As SUVs became more popular, the luxury of the Land Rover vehicles became a bigger focus in production. In 1995, this luxury increased even more when BMW purchased the company. In 1997, the Freelander was produced as Land Rover’s first mini SUV. The Freelander also was the first vehicle open to the public that featured hill descent control. This feature allows the vehicle to automatically apply the brakes to a tire that is spinning too fast, helping to control the speed as the vehicle descends down uneven or sloped terrain.
In 2000, BMW sold the Land Rover company to Ford, who would introduce the Range Rover Sport in 2006. The year 2006 would also find a focus on innovations for better fuel consumption and emissions technology. But in 2008, Ford would sell to the company’s current owner, Tata Motors. Today, you can expect to find the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, LR4, Evoque, and LR2 from your Portland Land Rover dealer.
“This is a guest post provided to Up Now and What's Next for its readers.”