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Range Rover Fifty celebrates half a century of opulent off-roading

John Law

To celebrate 50 years of the iconic nameplate, Range Rover has developed a limited edition of the original luxury off-roader. Of a total 1,970 units, just 37 of the Range Rover Fifty will make it to Australia.

Those 1,970 units reference the birth year of the British icon, debuting in 1970 and evolving to what we know now as the high watermark of opulent off-roading.

The rugged farm-hand Range Rover has morphed into a must-have luxury accessory, competing with the likes of the BMW X7, Audi Q7, Mercedes GLS and, in upper-spec trims, the Bentley Bentayga.

2020 Range Rover Fifty LE - 4
That shape won’t be mistaken for anything else.

However of the Luxo-barges, the Range Rover is one of few to retain its off-road credentials, and while the limited edition Fifty rides on massive 22-inch alloy wheels, the British beast will still be hard to beat in the mud.

Summing up the Range Rover modus operandi, chief creative officer of Land Rover Gerry McGovern said: ”Its unique and pioneering sensibilities together with an unrivalled engineering approach have been the intrinsic values which our customers have admired since the first of the breed was revealed in 1970.”

Since the Range Rover’s inception quite the rich history has ensued, including being the first all-aluminium four-wheel-drive vehicle, making it as a popemobile, and becoming the first 4×4 with off-road optimised ABS.

2020 Range Rover Fifty LE - 2
The Fifty font was designed by Gerry McGovern.

In 1992 the Range Rover became the first off-road vehicle to be fitted with a traction control system and active air suspension, which helped cement the Range Rover’s place on the pavement as well as off.

Of the 37 units destined for Australia, all of them will be powered by the brand’s sultry five-litre supercharged V8 engine with more-than-adequate outputs of 386kW and 625Nm. Fuel consumption is claimed to be rather high at 12.6L/100km, but historically, that hasn’t worried buyers.

The remainder of the specification is based mainly on the regular wheelbase $274,210 ($292,091 driveaway) Range Rover Autobiography. Specification highlights include leather-appointed heated, massaging front pews, active air suspension, power boot lid and the British brand’s gamut of off-road goodies.

2020 Range Rover Fifty LE - 6
Looks opulent in there…

Though that isn’t the Range Rover’s most premium guise, that honour belongs to the more potent SVAutobiography long wheelbase with that cars increased outputs of 416kW and 700Nm, as well as added luxuries like standard-fit 10-inch rear infotainment screens.

Additionally, the limited Fifty gets a numbered interior plaque, with custom stitched headrests, dashboard and kick plates also reminding you of the car’s rareness. Naturally, the boot features Fifty in a custom font designed by Mr McGovern.

Range Rover has restricted the limited edition Fifty’s colour palette to just four options from Land Rover’s SVO lineup; they include Rosello Red, Carpathian Grey, Santorini Black and the exotically named Aruba.

2020 Range Rover Fifty LE - 3
Range Rover doesn’t want you to forget this is 1 of 1,970.

Exterior changes are certainly subtle for the Fifty, and thankfully don’t erode the British brute’s presence on the road and here at Chasing Cars, we rather like the in-your-face Range Rover.

Mind you, we would love to see a heritage throwback to the spectacular two-door Range Rover sometime in the future.

As for the interior, well apart from the extra stitching and plaque it’s business as usual, a good thing for the Brit. That means dual touchscreens to control infotainment played through a meridian sound system, soft-close doors and four-zone climate control.

2020 Range Rover Fifty LE - 5
So much cow-hide in here.

Orders for the Fifty are now open. Pricing has not been confirmed yet, but we expect a list price of over $300,000 before on-road costs.