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Range Rover gets 50th-anniversary edition

The vehicle that started the luxury-SUV segment in 1970, the Range Rover, is getting a special 50th-anniversary edition this year.

Land Rover said Tuesday it will build just 1,970 Range Rover Fifty models for all of its global markets. Fewer than 400 are planned to be sold in North America. Land Rover has 188 U.S. dealers, so each dealer will have the opportunity to order at least one, possibly two vehicles.

The Range Rover Fifty will be available in standard or long wheelbase and with a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine rated at 518 hp. It will be available in four colors, but the Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations division will offer small numbers of the vehicle painted in one of three additional heritage colors from the original 1970 Range Rover lineup: Tuscan Blue, Bahama Gold or Davos White. All versions have special 22-inch wheels and a "Fifty" script on the thresholds, seats, console and exterior designed by Land Rover's chief creative officer, Gerry McGovern.

The original Range Rover — which combined the luxurious interior and comfortable ride of Rover's upscale 1960s cars with the go-anywhere capability of the utilitarian Land Rover off-road vehicle — went on sale June 17, 1970. U.S. sales started in 1987 and created a new segment.

No word yet on prices or when the Range Rover Fifty will be available for order. Land Rover is expected to announce details of the fifth-generation Range Rover sometime next year.