Motors

No semantics about Range Rover's iconic status

The four generations of the Range Rover, the definitive luxury off-roader for 45 years

AS with 'legend', the word 'iconic' suffers from misuse and has been robbed of its true meaning by being casually applied to everything from a David Beckham hairstyle to the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, writes William Scholes.

So debasing is the liberal misapplication of 'iconic' that the informed reader could be forgiven for thinking the original author meant 'ironic'.

Car companies are serial offenders, as if describing the door handle or seat trim of the latest model as 'iconic' somehow infuses it with superior quality.

As all sensible people know, when it comes to cars, there are few icons. The Porsche 911 is one. So too is the Range Rover, which has just celebrated its 45th birthday.

It is not the shape and design alone which have helped make the Range Rover iconic. Single-handedly creating the luxury off-roader is part of it too, as is the pursuit of excellence which has maintained its status as the definitive posh 4x4, despite the determined efforts of would-be rivals to topple it.

The original 1970 model, which Range Rover now calls the 'Classic', was cited as an "exemplary work of industrial design" when it became the first vehicle to be displayed at the Louvre in Paris.

Its combination of excellent refinement and on-road handling with uncompromised all-terrain capability set the mould for every Range Rover that has followed, and across its four generations it has maintained its status as the most capable and desirable SUV in the world.

The current model is the most desirable and sophisticated yet, with all-aluminium construction, sophisticated 4x4 hardware and the sort of luxury that used to be the preserve of Bentley customers.

Indeed, the plusher Range Rover models now cost more than £100,000, which seems almost reasonable for the engineering, quality, capability and heritage that this iconic car represents.

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