When Land Rover launched the Range Rover, 42 years ago, and changed SUVs forever, the car was received with such rapture that its debut became a huge nationwide event. The excitement, and the unprecedented buyer demand, went on for well over a year. 

We believe the hoop-la is about to be repeated, for the very good reason that the new Range Rover, which promised so much when its radical, weight-saving specification was revealed a couple of months ago, has proved in our first road testing to be just as much of a rule-breaker as the hallowed original.

For the first time, our testers say, the Range Rover loses weight, and its handling and its all-round efficiency show big benefits as a result. For the first time, the words “impressive fuel consumption” can be associated with a Range Rover, a machine which not so long ago was tantamount to OPEC’s best friend.

Best of all is the mighty benefit the Range Rover’s driving success brings to this country and its car industry. At a critical time for the economy, our luxury car creators display again their pre-eminence. Everyone knows we can design great cars; this new model shows how brilliantly we can test, develop and build them to please customers.

Insiders say UK dealers already have half a year’s stock allocation in firm orders, and they’re probably understating the case. In Britain, we’ve had plenty of reasons to feel proud this year: here’s another to match the best.