The Range Stormer was a concept car introduced by Land Rover in 2004 that served as a precursor to the Range Rover Sport. It was designed to showcase Land Rover's growing design confidence at a time of great change in the company. It's also the very first concept car of the British marque – something that it had never done in 56 years.
The context of the Range Stormer's introduction was important because, at that point in time, there was only the Range Rover flagship SUV, and the idea of splitting it into a family was radical. The concept car was meant to validate the concept and prepare the world for what that vehicle was, the narrative behind the vehicle, and what it was all about.
Gallery: Range Stormer Concept, From Land Rover
In the latest video from Top Gear, the British publication visited the automaker's workshop in Coventry to look back at the Range Stormer concept and discuss its importance in the lineup. Present in the interview was JLR's Chief Designer, Andy Wheel.
The Range Rover Stormer Concept was built by a team working between the UK and Italy, and it took eight months to complete. The concept car was designed to be a showstopper, and it succeeded in that regard. It featured a striking design with a sloping roofline, a bold grille, and a pair of butterfly doors. At the time, this type of door in an SUV was unheard of, and typically only seen in supercars, notably in Lamborghinis.
The Stormer Concept's interior was equally impressive, with a minimalist dashboard and luxurious materials. The concept car was powered by a supercharged 4.2-liter V8 engine, which produced over 300 horsepower (224 kilowatts). Back then, the only cars within JLR's lineup to carry this mill were the Jaguar XJR and XKR.
The Range Stormer was significant because it was the first Range Rover concept car to feature the "Sport" moniker, and it was also the first to preview the Range Rover Sport. The concept car's design language became a hallmark of the Range Rover Sport. Ultimately, it showcased Land Rover's design capabilities and helped to cement the brand's reputation as a manufacturer of high-end SUVs.