By Ted Orme
I got a real treat recently: a test drive in a 2015 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 5-Door, the luxury SUV brand’s entry level charmer – more on that in a minute. First, I must confess I get a special kick out of driving any Range Rover. That’s because of Bill Baker. Let me explain.
Baker was the first director of corporate communications for Range Rover of North America when it set up shop in Lanham, Maryland in the mid-1980s. The fledgling operation was headed by Charlie Hughes, a bright young marketing specialist who had experience with Cadillac and Audi. The challenge was to introduce the legendary Land Rover/Range Rover brand to the U.S and, in so doing, establish a new automotive niche – adventuresome yet luxury $30,000 4x4s for the well-heeled. And they did so spectacularly.
My wife and I were among the lucky group of auto writers and spouses invited to the introduction of the Range Rover in England in 1986, an almost make believe experience that still wraps us in euphoric nostalgia. We were to get a complete schooling in the history and performance capability of this unique all-terrain vehicle. More importantly, we would get a week-long taste of the “Range Rover lifestyle.”