Range Rover: a winner from London to Sydney, Paris to Dakar
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Range Rover: a winner from London to Sydney, Paris to Dakar

By MarkOastler - 22 March 2019
The Evan Green/John Bryson Range Rover with 4.4 litre P76 V8 seemed like the ideal each-way bet to win the 1977 London-Sydney Rally. However, the 30,000km route was not as tough as the Aussies and other four-wheel drive crews had hoped for.

Prior to the Range Rover’s release in 1970 ‘all-terrain’ was the almost exclusive domain of noisy,  low-geared, harsh-riding and uncomfortable 4x4s, as characterised by its Land Rover stablemate. However, the Range Rover’s supple four-coil suspension, powerful V8 engine, permanent four-wheel drive, four-wheel disc brakes and plush car-like interior caused a seismic shift in automotive cross-country travel - including motor sport.

Here was a new breed of vehicle, the progenitor of the modern luxury SUV, which could not only tackle the toughest tracks and off-road obstacles with unprecedented levels of occupant comfort. It was also an outstanding long-haul tourer that could cover vast distances with admirable ease regardless of weather and road conditions.