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The latest generation of the legendary Range Rover SUV would be almost unrecognisable to owners of the original model, which was a simple design that offered more comfort than the Land Rover on which it was based, but was still rather spartan by today’s standards. However; fairly soon the Range Rover was adopted by wealthy owners and footballers’ wives, making it the 4x4 to be seen in, a fact reinforced by the Royal Family often being photographed driving one. The down-to-earth plastic interior trim was gradually evolving to a more luxurious appearance with wood veneer and swathes of leather.
Over the years the iconic Range Rover has been updated often, but one thing that has never changed is Land Rover’s commitment to ensure that the Range Rover remains the most capable off-roader you can buy. With enough tech to keep you out of trouble, and just enough information to keep you informed throughout your off road adventure.
To demonstrate this even a high-end Range Rover with an interior as luxurious as any executive saloon car, and that may be destined to only go off-road when parked on the pavement in Kensington, still has the technology and ability to scale almost any type of terrain.
In an extreme engineering validation test, they set off from Land Rover's UK home at Solihull to drive the 16,800km extended Silk Trail, arriving in Mumbai, India, 53 days later. The mission took the vehicles through Europe and into Central Asia, passing the mythical Silk Trail cities of Bukhara and Samarkand on their way to the ultimate challenge – the Himalayas.
On arrival in Mumbai, these heavily laden, hard-driven Hybrids returned an impressive 15.5-15.7km/l (36-37mpg), confirming that the Range Rover Hybrid is as robustly tough as any other Land Rover – a magnificent off-roader ready to take on any challenge.
The evolution of the Range Rover Architecture is a result of 50 years of research, development, testing and customer feedback. the L405 (or full size Range Rover) has one of the most advanced off road architectures on the scene. Not just an SUV for mounting a pavement, this platform is the most formidable yet. Leaving a wake of shamed 4x4 owners and drivers, the latest generation of architecture is the gift that keeps on giving. Modern electronics and locking differentials are at the heart of a Range Rovers soul.
Mat Watson embarks upon the Silk Trail 2013 taking on some of the craziest roads in India.
The epic Silk Trail expedition concluded
There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about the Range Rover platform, from the P38, to the L405, the Full Fat forum is one of the best collective knowledge bases and communities that exist. Join today!