Land Rover has announced that the new Range Rover Astronaut Edition will only be made available to people who plan on venturing where few have gone before: outer space.
We’re gonna be honest, this just seems like a really dumb idea. First off, Land Rover is losing money hand over fist, so these guys really should be casting their net as wide as possible and not limiting it to the 600-odd people who have paid $250,000 for the privilege of being catapulted into outer space courtesy of Virgin Galactic.
Second of all, the main selling point of this particular special edition Range Rover is a fancy paint job and an engraved cup holder.
Seriously, Land Rover--what are you even thinking these days?
Anyway, this thing is called the Range Rover Astronaut Edition, so called because it will only be sold to people who’ve signed up with Virgin Galactic. That’s the commercial space tourism enterprise funded by eccentric British billionaire Richard Branson. The space program is still in its infancy, but people have paid $250,000 years in advance to one day experience a 90-minute space flight beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
And now they can tack on another $150,000 to get a commemorative edition Range Rover while they’re at it.
The Range Rover Astronaut Edition comes in “Zero Gravity Blue” exterior paint and features “Astronaut Edition” badging on the tailgate and side panels. Virgin Galactic puddle lamps will display the silhouette of SpaceShipTwo, the spacecraft that will carry each Virgin Astronaut into space.
Its unique, one-of-a-kind interior features a custom cup holder made out of the front landing skid of Virgin Spaceship Unity, which launched itself into space for the first time back in 2018. After the Virgin Astronaut finally does venture forth into the great beyond, they’ll get that cup holder replaced with a version made from the wooden skid of the spaceship they flew up there.
It’ll also be "personally inscribed with the specific details of a life-changing experience." Cool.
The SUV is based on the Range Rover Autobiography and will come with either a P400e PHEV powertrain rated for 398 hp or a 5.0-L supercharged V8 rated for 518 hp. And that $250,000 space flight ticket does not come with a new Range Rover. Pricing wasn’t announced, but a regular Autobiography starts at $143,000, so prospective astronauts should expect to pay at least that much.