NEWS
Range Rover 35th ANNIVERSARY LE (Saudi Arabia)
Aug 05,2006  •   3080 views
In what seems to be a desperate move on behalf of the local Saudi dealer to restore interest in the Range Rover L322, the lackluster 35th anniversary comes in a year too late.

Maroon red, Carmen red leather and 2 DVD screens. That’s all.

The original 35th anniversary limited edition was first launched in mid 2005 to celebrate the Range Rover’s original birthday in 1970. Only 35 vehicles were introduced and all were right-hand drive and destined for the UK market. This was according to Land Rover’s official press release. (See older news posts).

I believe there are three main reasons behind this move.

First, L322 sales have dropped considerably after the launch of the Range Rover Sport. We know the vehicle is in mid-life, but still. Badging the sport with the Range Rover name did not help either. There was no push for the L322 during the sport’s heat wave at all. Even with a new face, cheap showroom promotions were nowhere to be seen. The car, basically, looked a little old and slow. I personally prefer it to the sport, but I guess I might the only one.

Second, the supercharged L322 received little touches here and there to distinguish it from the HSE. There should have been much more than the mesh grilles and those little round exhaust pipes at the rear.

It would have been really easy for Land Rover to beef up Jaguar’s 395bhp engine a little. Power boxes in the market give you 50bhp alone. What is wrong with a 450+ bhp Range Rover Supercharged? Isn’t this the grand daddy of them all?

Third, all this talk about a re-freshed interior (November 2006) just killed the vehicle in the Gulf. The area here is so sensitive to minor exterior and interior differences.

It’s going to be a very long summer for the L322.

What to do? What to do?

Limited editions! Why not? Just add some minor Autobiography touches and send them out. There is even talk of a limited edition Range Rover Westminster for the Gulf. The Westminster is basically a supercharged Range Rover in Cherry black with Jet seats and piano black wood. Almost all options are available on a regular Range Rover Supercharged. The difference you ask? The badge.

That is where the 35th comes in. It’s a low trim-level Autobiography with a 35th anniversary badge. The car still looks fantastic, but that does not justify the SR 525,000 tag price (while regular supercharged is SR 345,000, the UK’s 35th selling price was SR 435,000 excluding VAT). Remember, we are talking a year late. The car pictured below was produced in November 2005! What is the point of having a 35th anniversary if it’s in 2006 or 2007. The whole point is to get it in 2005. This one looks official, but it doesn’t feel special at all. Not to mention the smell of greed once you step in the showroom.

Land Rover is really trying its best to clear out as many L322s as possible before the re-freshed vehicle arrives.

To all Land Rover dealers in the Gulf: run Forrest, run!



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