1987: First Official US Range Rover Model
US Range Rover Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN)
Chassis & Suspension
Photo: Jack Hall's 1987 Range Rover fitted out with an aftermarket roof rack, headlight guards and brush bar. Jack has removed the factory front spoiler that came on all 1987 U.S. Spec Range Rovers and relocated the driving lights from the spoiler to the brush bar. Note exposed hinges on front doors and narrow plastic rocker panel trim strip, both characteristic of 1987 through mid 1989 models. In mid 1989 the doors were redesigned to hide the hinges and a wider rocker panel trim strip was fitted.
Introduction: The 1987 US Debut
The Range Rover first went on sale in the Powertrain:
Number built 1,542
Number sold in the
Base Price $31,375 (Kelley Blue Book) MSRP $30,825
Curb Weight 4,303 lbs.
Gross Vehicle Weight 5997 lbs. First 1987 built
US Range Rover Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN):
The Range Rover VIN translates as follows (the
SA = Built by Rover Group
L = Land Rover Division
H = Range Rover
V = 100” Wheelbase U.S./Canada (The Range Rover was not sold in Canada until June 1990)
1 = 4 Door Station Wagon
1 = 3.5L Petrol Catalyst V8 Engine (2= 3.9L, 3 = 4.2L)
4 = Automatic Transmission
H = 1988 Model year (the 10th digit on all post ’80
A = Built in
3.5L (3528cc/215 cubic inches) 150 hp @ 4750 rpm
(15 less hp
than the euro 3.5L that did not have the
three-way exhaust catalysts and other U.S. emissions equipment.) 195
torque @ 3000 rpm 90-degree Overhead Valve (OHV) V8 aluminum alloy
aluminum alloy block with dry steel cylinder liners (3.5" bore x 2.8"
stroke) 8.13:1 compression ratio. Lucas
13CU Multiport L-Jetronic electronic fuel injection.
The electronic fuel injection on the Range
Rover was similar to the EFI that had been using on the 3.5L V8 in
since the 1970’s (including the Rover 3500 that was sold in the
The transmission was a 4 speed ZF4HP22 automatic
transmission was used by BMW, Mercedes, and Volvo) with fluid lockup
converter and overdrive 4th gear. (1st 2.48:1, 2nd 1.48:1, 3rd 1.00:1,
.728:1, R 2.086:1) Manual transmissions
were available in other countries, but never available on Range Rovers
The transfer case was a 2 speed LT230T gear driven unit that provided permanent four-wheel drive with mechanical center differential lock (High 1.222 & Low 3.320). Like other Land Rover models the parking brake was built in to the transfer case.
EPA 13 mpg city, 15 mpg highway
Chassis and Suspension:
The frame was a fourteen gauge box-section ladder-type frame with five crossmembers and ten mounting points for the body. It was “Electrophoretically” treated for corrosion resistance. All North American models had a Class III towing receiver. Long travel coil springs were on all four corners, 133 lb./in. front and 127 to 180 lb./in. dual rate in rear. Beam axles with “spiral bevel” differentials (3.54:1 ratio) and “fully floating” with 10 spline axle shafts (The axle shafts were upgraded to stronger 24 spline shafts in 1993)located by radius arms and a panhard rod in front, trailing links and a central “A” frame in the rear. A self-energizing “hydromat” ride-leveling device is on the rear axle. and hydraulic telescopic shock absorbers at each corner. Adwest Varamatic worm and roller steering box with Hobourn-Eaton power assist unit. Four wheel power disk brakes with four piston calipers in front and two piston calipers in the rear (early 1987 models had an Automotive Products (AP) master cylinder with a pressure differential warning actuator, later 1987 models had a Lucas Girling master cylinder with a float that activated the warning light when brake fluid level dropped) with pad wear sensors on the front right and rear left inboard brake pads. All
Available Paint Colors (Paint Codes): Astral
(364), Cambrian Gray (348), Caspian Blue Metallic (366), Cassis Red
All U.S. Spec Range Rovers were 4 door models; the
model was never imported to
The door covering the fuel filler (the 1987 model was the first Range Rover with a door covering the fuel filler) locked along with the doors. All but a few early 1987's had a black Land Rover badge on the grill (this grill was also new for 1987; previous Range Rovers had vertical salts in the grill.)
Black painted bumpers, Built in Class III towing receiver at
the rear. The plastic front spoiler had
driving lights. The headlights were
sealed beam headlights with power wash sprayers built in to the front
bumper. Windshield washers were on the
washer and wiper was also on the rear window. Sun Roofs were not
the design of the Range Rover roof was changed in 1987 eliminating the
channels above the front seat passengers in anticipation of a power
option in 1988. Both outside power
mirrors were electrically heated (they turned on when the rear window
was turned on).
Accessories offered by the dealers included: brush guards, lamp guards, running boards and
front mud flaps (rear mud flaps were standard).
Some dealers installed American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) tilt
sunroofs. Factory sunroofs were not
available until the 1988 Range Rover was introduced.
Photo above: Jack
Hall's 1987 RR from rear: Note exhaust exiting to left on 1987 and 1988
Available Interior Colors: Osprey Gray cloth or Pembroke Gray leather
6 way power seats (more 1987's had cloth than leather upholstery) with adjustable armrests.
The only option that was available from the factory was leather seats.
Air conditioning, Power Windows
60/40 split folding rear seats, folding rear parcel shelf/loadspace cover
Leather covered 16” two-spoke steering wheel.
Electric Cruise Control
Clarion NT-2 AM/FM anti theft stereo cassette with 4 speakers and a radio antenna on the rear window glass
Map pockets in door panels, Center cubby box
Woven deep pile removable carpet over rubber mats.
A special lytherm heat/sound insulation material was under the carpet and mats.
American walnut veneer door cappings.
Central locking on all four doors and the fuel door.
Child locks on the rear doors.
Front door puddle lamps and red door open warning lights
Rear window defroster
Accessories offered by the dealers included: Floor
guard (with or without a shotgun rack), and sheepskin seat covers.
Photo: Interior of
Charlie Steves' 1987 RR. Most obvious differences from later models are
panel trim design and cloth seats.
There were not any Special Editions in 1987, only one model was offered
Tom Collins (who later became the U.S. Camel Trophy team coordinator) and Dan Floyd finish 2nd overall in the Camel Trophy driving a Range Rover turbo diesel.
Median income for new Range Rover owners this year (remember we are talking 1987 dollars) was $200,000. The demand for Chamonix White paint and leather upholstery that exceed the supply so plans were made to make more available in 1988.