For astronauts only: Range Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) group announced the Range Rover Astronaut Edition, Autocar reports. The only customers who can buy the Astronaut Edition are people who reserved a space flight with Virgin Galactic. Called “Future Astronauts,” the 600 who signed up so far will pay $250,000 for the 90-minute experience.
Land Rover and Virgin Galactic announced a global partnership in 2014. In addition to the marketing opportunities related to the alliance, the two companies hoped the partnership would “inspire young people across the globe to pursue careers in engineering, science, and technology,” according to a joint statement released at the time. Virgin CEO Richard Branson hopes the partnership will inspire a generation.
To create the Astronaut Edition, the SVO group incorporated exclusive design elements on the SUV’s interior and exterior. The special edition is built on the SVO’s Range Rover SVAutobiography Edition, one of two SVO platforms. The SVAutobiography promises “peerless luxury.” The second SVO platform, the SVR, promises a “thrilling sports performance” from added elements to improve power, handling, and speed.
Land Rover reportedly delivers Range Rover Astronaut Editions with either the company’s 398-horsepower p400e plug-in hybrid engine or its 518-horsepower 5.5-liter P525 supercharged V8 gasoline motor.
The Astronaut Edition’s exterior is Zero Gravity Blue. Unique badging will grace the SUV’s sides and rear and an exclusive puddle lamp will project a Virgin Galactic logo. Virgin’s DNA of flight graphic will appear in several places inside the vehicle, including the console lid, rear armrest, and door handles.
The most exclusive of the special edition’s design elements will be discs in the front seat cup holders. Before Future Astronauts take their flights, those who purchase Range Rover Astronaut Editions will have discs made from the wooden landing skid from 2018’s flight of the Virgin Spaceship Unity. After they complete their $2,777-per-minute trips, the passengers status converts to “Astronaut,” and they will receive replacement discs for their cup holders made from the landing skid on which their flight landed.
Land Rover did not release prices for the Range Rover Astronaut Edition. Eligible customers may find relief that the vehicles will likely cost less than their ride into space because the 2019 Range Rover Autobiography prices start just under $135,000.
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