The emblematic Range Rover is turning 50 in 2020, and Land Rover is marking the occasion by releasing a limited-edition model appropriately named Fifty. It receives a handful of edition-specific trim pieces, it's available in one of three gorgeous colors borrowed from the original model's palette, and it packs a V8 in its engine bay.
Developed primarily to give buyers a less rudimentary alternative to the Series II, the original Range Rover made its public debut in 1970 as a two-door, four-wheel drive model that offered excellent off-road capability without sacrificing on-road comfort. Five decades, four generations, and over a million units later, the Range Rover is one of the most recognizable SUVs on the market. Land Rover built the Fifty model on these solid foundations.
Starting with the posh Autobiography trim, stylists added exterior accents finished in Auric Atlas and created a pair of 22-inch alloy wheel designs that help the Fifty stand out from the standard Range Rover. The rectangular Fifty emblem found on the fenders, the headrests, and the dashboard was penned by Gerry McGovern, the head of the company's design department. Buyers can order the Fifty with a regular or a long wheelbase.
The standard color palette consists of four shades called Carpathian Grey, Rosello Red, Aruba, and Santorini Black. Alternatively, Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team re-created three colors offered on the original Range Rover (pictured below). They're named Tuscan Blue, Bahama Gold, and Davos White, respectively, and they'll be available in "extremely limited numbers," according to the British company.
Although specifications will vary from market to market, Land Rover announced the American-spec Fifty will only be powered by a 5.0-liter V8 supercharged to 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. It spins the four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it sends the big SUV from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. In comparison, the original Range Rover went on sale with a 3.5-liter, 135-horsepower V8 that, through a quirk of automotive history, traced its roots to the Buick parts bin. It powered many other British cars for decades.
Production of the 2021 Land Rover Range Rover Fifty is limited to 1,970 examples worldwide, a number chosen as a tribute to the year the model was launched in. Pricing and local specifications will be announced closer to its on-sale date in late 2020, but expect the model to carry a six-digit price tag when it arrives in the United States.
Land Rover is nearly ready to introduce the fifth-generation Range Rover; our spies have spotted pre-production prototypes racking up miles on some of the planet's most inhospitable terrains. Although the test mules are fully covered in camouflage, we can tell the off-roader's overall silhouette won't drastically change. Bigger changes will be found under the sheetmetal, where the Range Rover will adopt a new platform developed with electrification in mind. Hybrid powertrains will return, and we hear an electric model is in the pipeline as well. Credible but unverified rumors claim the Fifty's supercharged V8 will be replaced by a turbocharged eight sourced from BMW.
We expect the fifth Range Rover will make its debut within the next 12 months, and it might arrive in showrooms in time for the 2022 model year. Its smaller sibling, the Range Rover Sport, will be right around the corner.