The launch of the third-generation Range Rover (L322) coincided with an asset scramble for the leftovers of the Rover Group. Development of the L322 however, had already been largely shipped out to Munich. BMW had plans to develop the next Rangie as early as 1994, recognising that the P38 was compromised from the beginning, due to the extremely tight budgetary constraints, forced upon it by then parent firm British Aerospace. No such limitations would impinge the development of its successor, as both E38 7 Series and E39 5 Series provided quality and proven parts for the L322.
Although the majority of the engineering was carried out by BMW, the L322’s slick and clean modern design came from Solihull. Geoff Upex had become Rover’s design chief and concept director in 1995 and it was his vision for the L322 that beat a proposition from BMW’s chief designer, Chris Bangle. Determined not to simply develop a re-skinned BMW X5, the engineering team behind the third-generation Range Rover worked hard to retain the luxury off-roader’s near peerless ability in the rough stuff, despite BMW’s insistence that this Rangie would be the first made utilising monocoque construction. That decision transformed the L322’s on-road manners, while Solihull’s influence ensured this Range Rover remained a formidable off-roader.