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[Mai Nate] Land Rover


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Iniziamo con il Freelander:

Freelander underwent a rather convoluted development programme; it started out as a joint Rover Cars/Land Rover project to produce a vehicle to compete in the emerging "crossover" market, as epitomised by the Suzuki Vitara...

The initial projects crystallised into the Rover Oden and Land Rover Pathfinder. It was the latter that survived into maturity, and once the project was sanctioned by management, in the mid-1990s, it was renamed CB40.

Land Rover Pathfinder and Rover Oden




As can be seen, the Land Rover Pathfinder was the more "rugged" of the two designs, and it was this that went on to become the CB40. The Rover Oden had potential as a "school run special", and its lack of a four-wheel-drive transmission system would not have been a disadvantage, give the market it was aimed at. Consider it a latter-day Matra-Rancho.

Land Rover Pathfinder



Three- and five-door schemes: many of the final styling elements were in place as early as 1992, when these models were displayed at Canley's viewing area. Note the front bumper treatment of the five-door, and the rear windows on the three-door; items that made it into production with little modification.


Testing frontal arrangements with a double-sided clay model.


Pathfinder "mule" undergoing trials during 1992... (Picture: CAR Magazine)
Oden and Pathfinder

Before long, "Lifestyle's" wheelbase had been lengthened and the project was renamed Pathfinder.

Because the development of the new car was very much a joint Rover Cars/LR effort, the new car eventually evolved into two distinct forms. The thinking behind this was simple: the company wanted to see which marque would be ideally placed to sell the new car, and as a result, the two versions were defferent enough to warrant distinct styling and engineering of the same body and platform.

Pathfinder originally started out with a plethora of MPV-like features, such as swivelling seats. It was given a utilitarian look, and conceived in quite different three- and five-door guises. Various styling themes were tried, and the Rover theme was particularly interesting: Styled with the Rover family "face", (check the Oden model in the "Projects and Prototypes" page - from the front, it is a cross between the 1995 Rover 100 and 1993 Rover 600). The Canley-built prototype was tried with varying mechanical configurations, and according to James Taylor, these were two- as well as four-wheel-drive. The simpler car used Maestro/R3-style rear suspension.

According to a project insider, Pathfinder became the object of a degree of controversy and political in-fighting. Land Rover's people felt that a more complex four-wheel-drive car was the product of their company, and so, fought hard against the Rover version making headway in the company's forward plans. He also stated, "Land Rover decided they needed the (smaller) car for its fuel consumption (fleet average fuel economy was on the horizon in Europe by now, similar to CAFE in the US), which forced a restyle to a Land Rover."

As the programme continued at Canley, it was shown to management for its appraisal. Given that the BAe years were marked by a sense of financial constraint, it comes as no surprise that the decision to go with Land Rover over Rover was mirrored by the board, which felt that only one of these models should be developed into a production car. The Board's decision was an easy one, and in effect, it had already been made: the Land Rover. It was the more established brand for niche vehicles, and as it was a four-wheel-drive car wearing the badge, a healthy premium could be charged for it.

This moved the product away from Rover. The Land Rover Pathfinder was always going to have an easier ride up to board level (than Rover's), given the more prestigious marque name it was going to sell under - profit margins were higher... By this time, the Discovery had been launched to wide acclaim, and confidence was high that the trick of opening new markets could be repeated further down the scale.

That left Rover's Pathfinder high and dry, which is a shame. The high-bodied estate car, with two-wheel-drive, differing three- and five-door bodystyles and MPV features was definitely a vehicle ahead of its time. Back in 1989, this was a radical concept: it had been tried before in the dim and distant past by Chrysler, with the Matra-Rancho, but that car had sold steadily (56,700 units in seven years), and had never really been copied by any rival manufacturers. However, with the benefit of hindsight, and the fashion towards higher bodied cars from the late-1990s, the Oden could have found a ready market....

Now that the programme was purely Land Rover, it was renamed Oden. The two LR body styles, which had been set early in the Pathfinder programme remained, and it is heartening to see that they remained largely unaltered through to the launch of the final car some seven years later.

So, the Rover Pathfinder had been left out in the cold, and with it, another fascinating historical might-have-been...


From Pathfinder via Oden to CB40

yclone was a "hacked" 4x4 Civic Shuttle, produced by Rover Special Products: It did enough to convince the board that they needed to be competing in this market at the earliest opportunity...

Although the Board had given a direction for the design team, it had still to approve it for production. Styling and marketing might have been on its way, with the full-size clay models and engineering prototypes having made a big impression, but the engineering of the new car still had some way to go. Like so many other projects developed by Rover during the early 1990s, Rover Special Products became involved in the evolution of Pathfinder.

Up to this point, Pathfinder had been undergoing some growing pains - whether to use the Maestro or 800 platform as a basis? How much engineering to carry over? What engines? What drivetrain? It was a slow process, and was part of an exceptionally fertile period in Rover's history. RSP decided it was time to give the board something concrete to look at. According to James Taylor, "...eventually the team decided to put together a concept vehicle, which would embody their thinking. As the Rover Board had still not formally agreed to go ahead with this new Land Rover model, the Group hoped that their concept would provoke a response..."

The vehicle was called Cyclone, and it ended up being vitally important in the development of the new car. It had intended to do little more than whet the appetites of the Board; to show them what the company should be building. "Cyclone was a reworked version of one of the development tools nicknamed the "Cut-and-Shuttle" created from a Honda Civic Shuttle. The Cut-and-Shuttle had a raised ride height care of machined blocks of 3" steel bar stock and was used as proof of concept.", according to a project insider.

Cyclone was bristling with youth-oriented styling features, such as a funky interior and OTT side graphics. When shown to the Board, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive, and so it was decided there and then - the car would be going into production. Dick Elsy recalled: "I have fond memories of Cyclone, because our sales and marketing director of the time, John Russell, got really excited about it, and said he'd like to be selling it now..."

So, although Pathfinder had been in development for four years by this point, it was only Cyclone's appearance that galvanized management into action. Perhaps it was also the product situation that helped them make up their mind. LR Project Director Dick Elsy summed-up the sitation thus (when speaking in 1997): "When we stood back and looked at the situation, it became more and more obvious that there was a blank space in the Land Rover product plan about three years ahead. So we set ourselves the rather ambitious target of plugging it with the definitinve leisure 4WD vehicle". Mind you, it wasn't that ambitious, if one concluded that a great deal of work had been done on Pathfinder in the preceding four years.

Elsy was made Project Director following Cyclone's appearance, and his Canley-based team were given six months to finalize the car's specification and get it ready for production; something of a contrast to the more leisurely approach up to this time...

Now that the Board gave the car the go-ahead, it could be given a new title: CB40. The signified the start of the major push to get the new car into production, and as Dick Elsy had been behind the Cyclone model, he was chosen to head up the productionisation process. Given that all the Rover models in development at the time were given "R" codes, it seems odd that Freelander was called CB40. Simple really: according to Dick Elsy, it was named after the room in which it was created, Canley Building 40.

Echoing the manufacturing arrangement between Mayflower and Rover, which had MGF bodyshells produced by an outside contractor, Rover management devised a similar plan for the CB40, but took it one step further. Rover formed a 50-50 partnership with Finnish company Valmet, and the production of Freelander's bodies would be the responsibility of the Finnish. Completed shells would then be shipped to Solihull, where final assembly would take place. Why was this arrangement put in place? Rover were simply too strapped for cash to prepare a third line at Solihull, and this seemed like an elegant solution to a BAe imposed problem.

CB40 glass fibre mockup was very close to the final product, and it is plain to see that it was merely a Gerry McGovern-penned evolution of the existing Pathfinder project.

Project CB40




Gerry McGovern was drafted in to oversee the final styling of CB40, and his influences can be seen in the way that this design possesses more solidity than the earlier models, yet manages to look good as well. Only small details would change between these models and the production version. Interestingly, one of these changes was made by Bernd Pischetsrieder when he first viewed the model in 1994.

Styling sketches




Wierd and wacky perhaps, with a touch of Judge Dredd, but there are elements of the Freelander contained within; especially in the yellow car...

da aronline.co.uk

il secondo disegno è molto Multipla! :shok:

tra un po con il Discovery e il Range ;)

Edited by j


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Ecco il Discovery:


Enter Project Jay

Much work was put into making Project Jay look as different as possible from the car that sired it... Note the Alpine Roof had already been fitted at this early stage.

What Land Rover needed in order to expand in a sustained way was a product led recovery - mirroring the work being done at Longbridge and Cowley on the volume cars. Nigel relates, "Work on a replacement for the improved Range Rover, codenamed Pegasus (which would become the P38A), would be commenced as soon as possible, and work on a new model, codenamed Jay, would start even sooner - its task: to take on the Japanese."

To pay for this massive programme, Land Rover would cease its 13 worldwide plants, concentrating all production at one vast site in Solihull. The ex-SD1 factory and Paint Shop were to be reopened to accommodate the new models. All Engineers were to support cost cutting activities to further support this investment.

Serious work on the third model line commenced in late 1986, and the project name 'Jay' was chosen shortly afterwards. The plan was to base the new challenger on the running gear of the Range Rover, but with a simplified specification, and more down to earth styling to meet the the mid-market ambitions of the new car. The project's impetus was blunted by the expansion of the Range Rover - with each new model variation came a boost in sales, and a further push upmarket.

The mid-1980s were a frantic time for Land Rover, though - the Range Rover's development proved to be one of the most unlikely success stories of the decade, as did its major global push. By March 1987, the process was almost complete - the Range Rover had been introduced into the US market, where it met with instant success. This gave the Rover board the confidence to finally release further funding - and approval was finally given to Project Jay the following August; the third line was finally going to make it to production.

Even at this early stage, it was clear that Project Jay would use as much carry-over hardware from the Range Rover as possible. The side benefits of this policy was that the development process would be far less glacial than usual - and the deadline date for introduction would be the autumn of 1989. Even so, this was one of the most ambitious development programmes to be undertaken in the motor industry at the time.


1988, and the style was almost complete...

The running gear was almost pure Range Rover - even down to the use of that car's V8 engine and LT77 manual gearbox. In order not to damage the Range Rover brand, it preserved the use of twin SU carburettors, whereas the 2.5-litre diesel engine (codenamed Gemini 1) - a direct injection unit - was all-new to Land Rover, and had actually been in development since August 1985; before Jay saw the light of day.

The 200Tdi engine was a genuine Land Rover developed engine, produced when there was a great deal of pressure to buy-in a turbo diesel from VM. In the end, the decision was taken to go with the advanced power unit as late as 1988. It shared is bore centres with the existing Land Rover 2.5-litre tubo diesel, but the block casting was all-new, and topped with an aluminium-alloy cylinder head. Featuring an OHC head, it developed 111bhp at 4000rpm and 195lb/ft at just 1800rpm.

Between the initial programme start in 1987 and its launch at the Frankfurt Motor Show on the 16th September 1989, a huge amount of work was undertaken to create a substantially new and cheaper vehicle. Although the carry-over parts were highly visible - doors and windscreen - the Discovery was visually different enough for Land Rover marketeers to work their magic on the new car, while preserving the prestige of the original. The vehicle naming policy also ushered in a change of tack - Land Rover was now the brand with Discovery being the model. The original Land Rover would now be known as the Defender.

The names Highlander and Prairie Rover were also in the running, but the former was taken by Volvo for its off-road truck range - and the latter wouldn't fit into the company's new three-model strategy.

da aronline.co.uk

Domani il Range ;)

ps: chiedo ai mods di modificare il titolo :oops::D

Edited by j


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Il mulo Maestro furgone 4x4 è uno spasso. :D

Grazie per le foto J! Mi mancavano tutte!! ;)

"... guarda la libidine sarebbe per il si, ma il pilota dopo il gran premio ha bisogno il suo descanso... e poi è scattata la regola numero due: perlustrazione del pueblo e ricerca de los amigos... ah Ivana, mi raccomando il panta nell'armadio, il pantalone bello diritto. E un po' d'ordine in stanza... see you later!" (Il Dogui, Vacanze di Natale)

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Tocca ora al Range

Love 'em or hate 'em, the premium SUV is a fixture and fitting of 21st century life in the UK.

However, Rover brought the concept to Europe in 1970 - and led the way from there on in...

A new star is born

It is an overused expression these days - "market niche"... but back in 1970, and through a desire to compete in the USA, the Rover Company came up with a car that truly did create a whole new market niche. In fact, this statement actually diminishes the Range Rover's significance in the automotive history, because it was so much more than this... it truly was a completely new concept, one which thousands of people took to their hearts and adopted as their own favoured mode of transport. In time, it also became an icon, a legend within its own lifetime - one which was recognized the world over.

But how did it come about?

The story of the Range Rover really begins in 1948 with the successful introduction of the Land Rover. The Second World War had left the Rover Company with a hugely expanded factory (it was increased in size in order to meet the war time demand for armourments), but the company's range of quality cars did not sell in large enough numbers to use the vast shop floor efficiently. Maurice and Spencer Wilks hit upon the idea of producing a four wheel drive utility vehicle, which was bound sell in large numbers, as it was a vehicle aimed at the agricultural and military market. The Land Rover, was inspired by the Willys "Jeep", and immediately went on to become a huge international hit - its off-road ability was second to none, and the way it was designed (simple body panels bolted onto a separate chassis) allowed for easy repair by anyone with even the simplest tools. Everyone was happy - Rover's management were, because they had significantly raised Solihull's output - customers were because it was the car for all seasons that this sector of the market needed, and the government was, because in the years immediately following the war, it boosted the country's exports significantly.

The only thing that concerned the Wilks brothers was the fact that demand for the Land Rover was bound to slow down as the economy improved, and the only way to maintain demand in this climate was to make the Land Rover a more habitable place for the driver and passengers. This concept was investigated pretty much as soon as the original was created, and the first station wagon version of the Land Rover was developed before the standard car even hit the market. With a modicum of extra equipment and less spartan interior fittings, the 80-inch Station Wagon, as it was called, was offered for sale at the end of 1948. Thanks to a high purchase price, however, the car was a sales flop (641 were produced) and it was withdrawn from the market in 1951.

The Wilks brothers did not give up on the concept and the idea of a more civilised off-roader was pursued further with the 1951 Road Rover. This car's priorities were changed somewhat over the 80-inch Station Wagon, as sheer off-road ability was seen as a secondary consideration, compared with durability, practicality and on-road driveability. Gordon Bashford was the brains behind this car's technical configuration, and it was he that decided against the use of the Land Rover's chassis, instead choosing a shortened version of the Rover P4 platform - retaining its rear wheel drive transmission. Where the 80-inch Station Wagon, had a coachbuilt body, the Road Rover, as it was called, used simple, flat body panels (as did the Land Rover) in order to keep down production costs.


1951 Mock-up of the "Road Rover" had a touch of "Toytown" about it, but the 2WD rugged utility wagon, as devised by Gordon Bashford, seemed like a good idea to Rover's management at the time. The continued success of the Land Rover lessened the need for a more civilised brother, so it's development continued at a leisurely pace.

The Road Rover idea might have been a good one, but the development programme was conducted in a more controlled manner than its predecessor. The reason for this was quite simple: the Land Rover's sales were proving to be a sustained success story, and the concerns raised by the Wilks brothers iin the late 1940s was beginning to prove unfounded. Also, the development of the P4 saloons was taking most of the R&D department's resources and so, the Road Rover tended to be overlooked. That is not to say it was ignored: Gordon Bashford continued with the project - and by 1955, it was being honed into a viable concept. It is said that Gordon Bashford even used one of the Road Rover prototypes as his own road car. In fact, in 1956, the Road Rover was developed into a Series II iteration, and because of Rover's success with their new P4 model, it was decided to align it with the saloon models, as opposed to the Land Rover.

The main difference between the new Road Rover and its older counterpart was the body style: out went the utilitarian look, and in came a smooth, sophisticated look that tied it in nicely with the upcoming P5 model. Technically, the Road Rover also changed: the wheelbased was increased to 98-inches, the front suspension was independent (like the P5) and the front brakes were now discs. Prototypes were built and the Road Rover got tantalisingly close to production - during 1958 prodctionisation took place with a view to series production in 1960-61, but it never happened. Sales forecasts were not overly optimistic, although this is probably not the reason for the Road Rover's demise: complexity, and a raft of new models, allied to the continued success of the Land Rover probably all played their part in the decision. Either way, the demise of Road Rover showed that Rover would not market a new utility-based model line unless the management were completely sure that it would not harm the company's reputation.


1957 Road Rover Series II shows that the emphasis had shifted from being a sister product to the Land Rover, to one that was aligned with the saloon models. It could quite easily be mistaken for an estate version of the P5 - especially from this view.

The idea never went away, and although Rover focused their efforts on getting the P6 into production, and continuing their research on the gas turbine cars, a more urbane utility vehicle was still on the cards. By 1964, and with forward development programmes now in flux (thanks to the success of the P6), the company turned their attention to the American market, with the intention of developing a product that would significantly increase Rover's penetration over there. The conclusion was that, thanks to the success of the newly-launched Ford Bronco and Jeep Wagoneer, the big growth area was in this market... in other words, the market that the Road Rover had been aimed at. By this time, Spen King had joined Gordon Bashford at the Rover Company, and it was both these men that put their minds to developing a car that would compete in this market.

Technically, any such project would be an interesting one because it would involve a number of compromises. Unlike the Road Rover with its two-wheel-drive layout, management favoured a full four-wheel-drive system in any new car aimed at this market - but it needed to offer a favourable on-raod/off-road compromise... something that the original Land Rover did not need, as it was still viewed as an all-out utilitarian model. One thing that King felt in developing a suspension system for any car designed for this market, was the need for massive wheel travel and low-rate springs (which went against the thoughts that Brian Sylvester had in the direction of interconnection) because it would offer excellent bump-absorbency. More importantly, long suspension travel also ensured that the wheels would remain in contact with the ground more of the time, something essential for good off-road ability.

Engine-wise, there was no contest: the V8 engine had been recently bought into the fold, thanks to William Martin-Hurst, and it would prove to be the ideal power unit for the new car. Torque characteristics favoured the bottom end of the rev-range, and because of its aluminium construction, it weighed 200lbs less than the in-line 3-litre engine that would have been used had it not been for the introduction of the V8. This was early 1966, and the project was still very much in its infancy, and yet it looked so promising that Peter Wilks gave the project the go-ahead for further development. Gordon Bashford devised the finer points of the car in the following months: a box-section chassis, which had long-travel suspension, low rate springs and the V8 engine. Unlike the Land Rover, the new car would have its four-wheel-drive syste, permanently engaged - primarily to ensure that the massive torque of the V8 was split evenly between two lightly loaded axles. The wheelbase of the new car was 99.9-inches, which was rounded up in the car's name - in a nod to the earlier project, it became known as the 100-inch Station Wagon.


David Bache always wanted the 100-inch Station Wagon to look more like a car, less like the boxy and utilitarian device that was the Land Rover. This early clay model shows the way he wanted the design to go.

The body was designed for simplicity of construction - being comprised of simple aluminium panels bolted to a steel skeleton. Throughout 1966, this concept was developed, and the first full-size mock-up was ready for January 1967. As can be seen in the accompanying photograph, it was this prototype formed the basis of the eventual design, and although it had been pretty much styled by Spen King and Gordon Bashford simply to clothe the mechanicals, they had received assistance from the styling department in order to give it acceptable proportions.


Accident in design: the 100-inch Station Wagon prototype was built up under the close scrutiny of Spen King and Gordon Bashford, and the body style in this photograph was intended only as a temporary measure in order to clothe the running gear, whilst David Bache devised the definitve design. However, the management of the company liked this proposal so much, they asked for it to remain, with only the lightest of changes.

As recounted many times elsewhere, 1966 marked the time when the Rover Company was bought out by the Leyland Motor Corporation, but it was not until the early months of 1967 that Donald Stokes' team actually scrutinized the new car. On the first viewing, Donald Stokes and John Barber were both tremendously excited by the 100-inch Station Wagon (as they were the Rover P8, that was also under development at the time) and gave it the green light for further development. From this point, the future of the car was sealed - and whilst Peter Wilks' engineering department knuckled down to the task of finalising the mechanical specification, David Bache's studio was given the task of tidying the King/Bashford style into something more stylish.

By September 1967, the first full-size running prototype was built, but because it was based entirely on Bashford and King's original design, it looked spartan in the extreme - however it proved very capable in testing. The concept was good - and everyone within Rover knew that this time, they had got everything right. David Bache, meanwhile, worked on his task of cleaning up the design, but as can be seen in the styling photographs, very little was changed, and certainly nothing fundamental.


As can be seen in this image, the David Bache studio worked on the original design, simply adding style in the more obvious areas. A more definite grille/headlamp arrangement was worked on, whilst some other detailing was tidied (look at the window surrounds, side swage lines and rear lamp clusters). This model was also badged a "Road-Rover" in deference to the older design study, but at the time (September 1967), it was still known simply as the 100-inch Station Wagon.

By early 1968, the David Bache restyle on King/Bashford design was finalized, and signed off for production. Prototype testing was undertaken all over the world, and most of the time, the cars ran undisguised. The only acknowledgement to disguising its origins were the badges that it wore: VELAR (The name was originally used on the P6 BS. Mike Dunn was asked to make a name using letters from Alvis and Rover, and came up with the now legendary moniker. The Spanish word Velar, and Italian word velare, which means to keep secret or hide away, was the inspiration behind the name. When it came to registering the prototype Range Rovers, they were badged as Velars to keep the press away, but also registered as Velars on the V5. When the tax was renewed on the cars, they were all changed to Rover Range Rovers on the V5.).

Testing went well, and although it did not go quite well enough to meet the April 1970 deadline that British Leyland had wanted for its introduction, it still did extremely well - not only in off-road testing, but also in customer clinics.

Finally on June 17th 1970, the Range Rover was launched to the press. It has passed into history that they loved the car one and all, but that was probably down to years of defining then refining the project, whilst sticking to the design they had arrived at, without undue modification. The result was that demand was immediate and sustained - customer waiting lists were drawn up as soon as the Range Rover appeared. The situation was simple: the Range Rover was launched at a price of £1998, and at the time, there was no opposition that could offer the breadth of ability that the it possessed. Not only was it a very accomplished off-roader, but it was also a commodious estate car and (as Rover would soon find out) something of a status symbol. People liked the high driving position, and although farmers and commercial vehicle drivers might have been used to this, to the buyers of prestige cars such as the Volvo 145 or Triumph 2500, it was a completely new experience. Very soon, Rover realised that people were buying their new baby for many other reasons than its off-road capability.


1980, and the scheme to improve the car's frontal aspect bears fruit. Management decided not to pursue the project...thankfully.

da aronline.co.uk

a tra un po con il Rage II e III ;)

Edited by j


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Range atto secondo ;)

It took Rover 24 years to replace the Range Rover - but when it did, it largely got the recipe right...

Taking that fine old car into the 21st century was never going to be easy.

Replacing the irreplacable

By the mid-to-late-1980s, the Range Rover's transformation into luxury express was well underway; one only had to look at the success of the Vogue editions of it to see this. Cannily, Land Rover tapped into the healthy demand for increasingly plush versions of the Range Rover, and ensured that prices remained relatively high, but not hideously so. This pricing policy ensured that the Range Rover would always remain relatively exclusive, but accessible enough for aspirational customers to feel they could reach one. With this, the future for the Range Rover brand was set. With the lower-priced Discovery under development, the intention was to push the original (and best) increasingly upmarket, ensuring that the Range Rover would represent the absolute pinnacle of four-wheel-drive vehicles.

In the long term, planners knew that the 1970 original - as smart as it was - would need significant development in order to keep pace the development of rival cars. Work began on the project in 1988, with engineering and styling work being focused upon - but at this point in time, no deadline for launch was set. It was not until 1990, and with a budget of £300 million, that the project to replace the Range Rover was formally started under the codename of 38A. The launch date of late 1994 was set at this time. Technically, meeting the demands of the 1990s would be no mean task, but given the excellence of the original, a firm foundation was already in place. Also, because the relationship between old and new, it would be entirely possible to introduce features bound for the new car into the existing one. It was a ploy that had worked well in the past for Jaguar and Rolls-Royce, so in this respect, the Range Rover was in good company.

Of more of concern, however, was the new car's styling. Rather like the difficulties encountered by Porsche when it came to replacing the 911, Land Rover knew that a major part of the Range Rover's appeal was its styling - and it would absolutely need to be right. Therefore, a great deal of care and attention would need to be employed in the development of the 38A's look... it would need to look substantially more modern, yet be readily identifiable as a Range Rover. George Thomson, Land Rover's styling director was handed the project in 1988, and admitted later that he found the brief both challenging and intimidating. "Recreating a classic like the Range Rover is a great challenge - but not an easy one."


Design competition at Solihull saw a shoot-out between rival studies by Ital Design, Bertone, Hefferman/Greenley (they of the Ssangyong Musso) and Land Rover themselves. Only Land Rover's and Bertone's designs were considered worthy enough to be translated into full-size clay.

Thomson needed to weigh up the conflicting stylistic demands of the new project, stating, "We had to produce a familiar, yet contemporary design that would delight existing customers and attract new luxury car lovers." It seemed that there was no shortage of styling houses that were keen to undertake the task, and with the help of Pininfarina, ItalDesign, Bertone and British designers John Hefferman and Ken Greenley, Thomson's team produced five separate models, which all sat on the upcoming LSE chassis with longer 108-inch wheelbase. There was quite a range of designs, from the evolutionary in-house effort, to an advanced Renault Espace-apeing one-box.


Bertone's design was compared with a similarly coloured Range Rover in order to be evaluated for suitability.

Ultimately, only the Bertone and In-house efforts were developed into full-size models, and it was at this point, that market reseach and customer clinics were set-up in order to ascertain which would be the more suitable design. In one French clinic, which would eventually prove pivotal to the project, it became clear tha the Bertone design just was not "Range Rover" enough. Programme Director John Hall recounted,

"...we showed one of the early design concepts where we put a lot of attention into making it compatible with luxury cars. This Frenchman said: "Theese carrr, eet 'as lost eets Wellington boots." At that time the rear quarter glass actually wrapped around the tailgate, which is a tremendous styling feature, but it wasn't Range Rover; it wasn't tough. The car also had body coloured bumpers which aren't practical, aren't appropriate on a real 4x4 vehicle."

Of all the prospective and existing buyers polled, the weight of support went for the more conservative in-house design, which came as no surprise to George Thomson: "The other designs provided a lot of inspiration, but our familiarity with the product and its customers gave us the advantage." The truth is that on this occasion, as on so many others, being led by customer clinic results led to a rather conservative car, and it has to be said that the final result was handsome, and it did grow on people - just as Land Rover promised it would - but it was not a leap forward in any respect.


It was this model, Pegasus, prepared by George Thomson's styling team that was picked as the winning design.

With the Pegasus styling scheme chosen, it was a simple task to transpose stong and traditional Range Rover styling cues onto it, in order to maintain that family resemblance so desired by the management. These cues were identified as a low waistline, straight flank feature-lines, dark window surrounds, floating roof and "castle" ridges on the front corners of the clamshell bonnet. This was a successful ploy - and anyone from 100 metres could tell it was a Range Rover... one disappointing aspect, however, was the deletion of round headlamps in favour of large, rectangular items that looked out of place on an expensive car, planned for the 1990s. In fact, they looked to be standard Euro-issue items from 1980 and give the front end of the car a look distinctly reminiscent of the Talbot Horizon.

Wind tunnel testing successfully improved the orginal's brick-like aerodynamics from a cd of 0.45 to an acceptable 0.38; this was achieved by subtlely altering the rake of the grille, paying close attention to the glazing and adding small strakes on to the rear pillars.

In terms of body and chassis engineering, the P38A (an amalgamation of "Pegasus" and "38A") retained much of the original's underpinnings. The ingredients were familiar: a ladder-frame chassis (stiffened by 18 per cent) with the body compliantly mounted in the interests of NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) reduction. Crashworthiness was also improved, with front and offset impact resistance improved with further chassis reinforcement - the fuel tank was also re-located to beneath the rear seat, and side impact bars were added to all the doors... all in the interests of improved safety.

All of the engines were new: two versions of the Rover V8 were introduced, in 4.0 and 4.6-litre forms. Somewhat rather like the Irish hammer that had several new heads and handles, the venerable and constantly developed V8 continued - the 4-litre version developed 190bhp and 236lb/ft torque, whilst the 4.6 developed 225bhp and 277lb/ft torque. For the P38A, it was decided to look for a replacement diesel, as the old VM power unit would not cut the mustard in the larger car. Programme Director, John Hall's search for a replacement diesel engine took him to six manufacturers including BMW. "I don't think BMW realised what they had", Hall recalled, "It's probably because the majority of the organization was sporty petrol-engine orientated that the diesel engine is so bloody good." A deal was brokered, and Land Rover gained the right to use the straight-six turbo diesel - some tinkering to the ECU was made in order to give it a more favourable torque curve.


As befitting an entirely new car, the interior was completely overhauled as well - finally putting to rest the 1970 vintage dashboard architecture. The heating controls were simplified, and the adjustable ride-height controls were now totally intuitive. The aim of the P38A programme was to improve interior quality, and bring it up to Germanic standards, as befitting the car's upmarket role. Certainly, these goals were largely met, although designed-in quality still had a little way to go - put that down to the non-too-generous development budget.

When the Range Rover was launched on the 29th September 1994, it became the first Rover Group product to be launched after the takeover of the company by BMW, and although the Germans had no real involvement in the development of the P38A, Wolfgang Reitzle took a keen interest in it. He would have a great deal of involvement in the future of the P38A as well...

da aronline.co.uk

tra un po l'atto III ;)


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E con questo finiamo le Land

Development on the new Range Rover started in 1995, and it went through several metamorphoses before management were completely happy with the direction it was going in.... Land Rover and BMW produced competing design proposals, and it was the British iteration of the concept that won through at the end of the day.

Former Rover director of design (who moved to Land Rover in 2000), Geoff Upex and lead designer Don Wyatt were responsible for how the new Range Rover should look. Both men saw the directive from BMW, that they should start with a clean sheet of paper (instead of basing it on the P38A) as a positive advantage, and embarked on their task with some relish.


Upex and Wyatt invited a variety of designers to submit proposals for how they thought a new Range should look. As well as the Land Rover styling department, BMW and DRA (Design Research Associates) were asked for ideas. This sketch by Phil Simmons not only drew on the original Range Rover as an inspiration, but also the Riva Speedboat (flanks, proportions).


Two studies that were passed over in the search for the new Range Rover. On the left, the DRA proposal was daring amd quite sporting, but not in-theme enough to be taken further. On the right, a radical frontal treatment for the Range Rover was drawn up... it would appear that elements of the flanks, especially around the rear wheelarches, did make it onto the production version.


Phil Simmons' concept in clay - a thirty per cent model of the design sketch depicted at the top of the page. This was easily the most popular of the 12 models that were submitted to management, and this can easily be identified as the first step in the process that led to the 2001 Range Rover.


August 1997, and four full-size models are presented to management: the left two were produced by BMW, overseen by Chris Bangle. The two on the right are by Land Rover, and it is Simmons' version (second from right) that attracts the most favourable comments from Wolfgang Reitzle. Unsurprisingly, the Simmonds proposal is also favoured by the Land Rover board, but the design is not signed off at this point, as Reitzle felt that the competition should remain open a little longer. One of the German designs remained in the running, alongside the British proposal - Reitzle did not feel at that point in time, that the British design was quite there yet


In the run-up to the final design competition, Land Rover worked with BMW and lightly revised Simmonds' design as depicted in this sketch.


December 1997, and after a final viewing by Reitzle, it is this full-size model that is signed-off for production.


These interior sketches are actually taken from the aborted Discovery replacement, but they clearly show where the origins of the Range Rover's interior lie.


Full size mock-up of the Range Rover interior shows that the luxury was added to the architectural theme investigated in the original "Discovery" sketches. The finished article was a triumph of design, and like Rolls-Royce's designs, the Range Rover's buttons were all operable by a gloved driver. Ford design boss, J Mays described the Range Rover interior as, "the best I have ever seen".

da aronline.co.uk


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