This year marks the 21st anniversary of Land Rover’s introduction of the Autobiography designation and since its introduction has remained pinnacle of the Range Rover model line-up.
First announced at the London motor show in late 1993 and introduced to customers the following year, Autobiography has been seen as the ultimate combination of Land Rover design and luxury and has remained a benchmark in the premium SUV market over the past two decades.
The current model, with its advanced lightweight aluminium construction, has adopted its own interpretation of the Autobiography concept with the Range Rover Autobiography Black. The preparation of the these models is handled by Special Vehicle Operations, headed by John Edwards, and responsible for engineering and manufacturing the most exclusive Land Rover model derivatives.
The vehicle is a full-blooded expression of what today’s Range Rover represents, using high-quality leather and materials allied to a supremely modern and individual design. Features include a full-length panoramic roof, seats with integrated climate control and massage functions and the option of an executive twin rear-seat design with an extended centre console housing USB connection, a sophisticated entertainment system with independent 10.2-inch screens and electrically deploying leather-finished tables.
John Edwards Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations
Customisation has long been a benchmark of Autobiography. The earliest Autobiography Range Rovers were wholly bespoke, offering customers the opportunity to indulge their tastes in limitless varieties of paintwork colours and interior finishes. Demand was so high, Land Rover was prompted to adopt Autobiography as a limited edition version of its Range Rover, featuring the larger engine from the long-wheelbase LSE models and distinctive interior and exterior colour-ways. Just 25 were built, securing their highly prized status among connoisseurs of the market.
Over the years customers have had the option to specify countless details, from the colour of the sheepskin rugs to type of wood used for cabin trims. Anyone who wanted something more exclusive only had to ask – and many did.
Alongside these custom features the Autobiography also offered a number of stand out features. In 1997 the Land Rover Autobiography offered models could accommodate a fax machine. Moving into the third generation Range Rover from 2002, Land Rover addressed increasingly sophisticated customer infotainment tastes with the introduction of concert hall-quality audio packages and a multi-play DVD system. Then, in 2011, Land Rover crafted it most expensive Range Rover yet, the 500 Autobiography. With a starting price of £120,000, it was targeted at the chauffeur-driven market and represented a new high in luxury ahead of the arrival of the fourth generation Range Rover in 2013.
Current and forthcoming Autobiography models will be built by the Special Vehicle Operations team, which is transferring to a new technical centre. This will include a customer commissioning suite for bespoke services and premium vehicle personalisation, flexible workshops and a fully automated paint facility.