Land Rover’s latest limited-edition SUV is one that aims for the stars, literally.
In a joint venture celebration of all things British and entrepreneurial, Land Rover and Richard Branson are now offering the most exclusive Range Rovers imaginable. Developed as a collaboration between Land Rover’s Special Vehicles Operation team and Virgin Galactic, Branson’s private space and exploration agency, these Range Rovers can only be ordered and owned by prospective astronauts.
Distinguished by a unique blue exterior hue, which Land Rover stylists refer to as Zero Gravity Blue, these limited-edition Range Rovers also project an outline of the Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo from their puddle lamps. Astronaut Edition badging completes the surface styling upgrades.
Inside there are a host of subtle but significant upgrades. Between the two front cupholders is a miniaturized spacecraft landing skid, with an inspirational ‘See you up there’ quote engraved to it. Alternatively, Land Rover can use a skid from the potential astronaut owner’s very own spaceflight, engraved with details of their journey.
On the carbon-fibre centre console, there is an evolution of flight graphic, which details eight craft, from the first gliders through the jet age to the current Virgin Galactic spaceship. This design theme is repeated on the leather armrests too. Further Virgin Galactic branding is added to the glovebox and behind the front seat headrests. Customers, who will all by implication have to be astronauts too, can have their initials stitched to the front of the headrests.
Beyond all the styling trinkets these Range Rover Astronaut edition SUVs are all powered by a choice of two rather different engines, either Land Rover’s latest hybridized in-line six or the brand’s more performance orientated 5-litre supercharged V8.
The Range Rover Astronaut will only be available to one of the 700 individuals who have paid the R3m ticket price to go on one of Virgin Galactic’s space journeys, the first of which is set to commence later this year.