the story of the name: " Vogue " for Range Rover

The Range Rover « Vogue » as in the magazine ?

For those who may not have realized it, the high-end Range Rovers are called "Vogue" in reference to the eponymous magazine. But let's go back almost 40 years to 1981. The Range Rover was already a top-of-the-range vehicle but it was still not available with an automatic gearbox, had no air conditioning, it had only three doors and fabric upholstery.

In Land Rover’s marketing department in the year 1980 we thought it would be nice to develop a "luxury" version of the Range Rover, a bit like Jaguar. The car was sturdy and went anywhere, but it was time to make it trendy and luxurious.

By the late 1970s many companies were offering bespoke Range Rover upfits for rich consumers. If you had the money, it was possible to buy six-wheeled, 5-Door (Monteverdi) long-wheelbase models and even convertible versions. But Land Rover had no budget to do product development for the Range Rover and the brand suffered from the economic difficulties of its parent company, British-Leyland.

In the early 1980s British-Leyland was reorganized, and each brand regained its autonomy, particularly budgetary. Land Rover came up with the idea of making a typical "luxury" prototype to test customer appetite for such a product. The brand teamed up with Wood & Pickett to design a specially equipped three-door prototype.

The definition of the vehicle was already a dream: painted in light metallic blue with two black swage lines that surround the entire body, the tops of the door panels were embellished with varnished wood strips, a central armrest lined the space between the front seats and the boot was carpeted. On the technical side, air conditioning and a radio were installed. The “premium” look was completed with superb 3-spoke aluminium rims. Last but not least, open the boot and there was a personalised picnic basket. So chic.

Quickly completed, the prototype (HAC 414W) was offered to Vogue magazine to generate reviews and comments from potential customers. The car was provided to the magazine with a single "suggestion": that It could be used as a background for a fashion photoshoot.

The Range "Matched" with the editorial style of Vogue. It was driven for a shoot on the Basque coast and more particularly in the centre of Biarritz. The result was an eight-page spread featuring the Range Rover as the backdrop for the 1981 Lancôme and Jaeger collections. 

Reader feedback was excellent and surprised Land Rover management. Customers spotted the bespoke vehicle in the magazine and queries poured in from around the world wanting to know how to get one.

Land Rover management may have been surprised by the amount of customer feedback but was fortunately not without resources. The prototype had been made from parts that already existed, either at Wood and Picket's suppliers or in the brand's accessories catalogue. Thus, the limited “In Vogue" series went on sale at the end of 1981 with a production run of 1,000 models. It was an almost exact replica of the car used in the photo shoot, in the same colour and with the same improved interior. Only the specially designed 3-spoke alloy wheels were changed (although these would later become a Range Rover catalogue option).

The 1981 In Vogue equipment included:

Light blue metallic paint (Vogue Blue) with wide body stripes in two shades of grey (not black as on the prototype)

High compression motor (9.35:1), to provide more torque

Transfer box with a higher gear ratio (0.996:1) to be quieter on the highway

Air conditioning

Varnished wooden door top

Armrest between the front seats

Pockets on the back of the front seats

Fully carpeted trunk

Spare wheel cover (in the trunk)

Picnic basket

Stainless steel tailgate cap

Black wheel covers

This first limited series (for an additional cost of 800 in 1981) of 1,000 In Vogue models was such a success that the following year saw the appearance of a second limited series.


The second In Vogue series introduced automatic transmission in the Range Rover range. Unfortunately, the box was only a GM 3-speed. Two colours were available: Nevada Golden and Sierra Silver. The body is this time a 5 door. More equipment is added compared to the first series. The 3-spoke alloy wheels mounted on the prototype are fitted as standard. Inside, rear head restraints are installed and a rear centre armrest makes an appearance. The in-car sound system is not forgotten with a Philips car radio and four speakers, two at the front and two in the rear. The first series 3-door In Vogue came with a picnic basket; the second series came with a cooler. It was only with the third series that both a picnic basket AND a cooler were provided.

For the third limited series, introduced in 1983, 325 In Vogue four-door models were manufactured and finished in Derwent Blue Metallic. The car radio became "digital", there was central locking, rear seat belts and a choice between automatic and manual transmission. One final detail was the addition of mud flaps at the front, after all a Vogue could encounter mud. The series was launched in conjunction with the Daks autumn fashion collection at Simpson's of Piccadilly.

Vogue models entered the permanent range in June 1984 as offering the highest equipment level. Range Rover took a step further with the Vogue SE offering and even higher equipment level. The use of this name continued on the Range Classic LSE, the P38, the L322, the L405 but unfortunately not on the L460.

François Bouet 


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