You Need to Literally Be Traveling to Space to Buy This Range Rover
Because going to space isn’t enough of a memento.
It's a good time to be a space enthusiast, what with humanity figuring out how to photograph a black hole, creating a thriving private sector, and witnessing the stunning feats of SpaceX. On top of all that, the wealthy elite are soon to embark on commercial space flights on Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. The buy-in is high, but that seemingly hasn't slowed anyone down, as at least 600 people have raised their hands to pay $250,000 for a seat on one of the first commercial space flights. This, we assume, because they're presumably fed up with mundane terrestrial pursuits like deep-sea diving, privateer racing, and climbing Mt. Everest.
Of course, what's the point if you can't one-up your fellow zero-point-one-percenters? For the roughly 700 planned total space travelers on Virgin Galactic, Range Rover revealed an exclusive special-edition SUV that incorporates galactic-themed components.
Each of the appropriately named Range Rover Astronaut Editions is based on the short-wheelbase model and arrives in a similarly appropriate Zero Gravity Blue paint, a color "inspired by the depth and intensity of the night sky." White leather covers the interior, and it's contrasted by blue stitching and carbon-fiber trim scattered around the cockpit. In addition, there is special badging on the flanks, liftgate, and door jambs. For those who spend more time gazing at their navels than the stars, puddle lamps project on the ground a facsimile of SpaceShipTwo, the extraterrestrial vessel taking this moneyed few into the heavens.
There's a special "DNA of Flight" graphical timeline inlaid on the center console that starts with Icarus and moves through moments in flight that include the Wright Brothers, commercial jets, and the Apollo Lunar Module. There's also an engraving on the interior door handles vaguely referenced as the "Future Astronaut community constellation pattern" that represents "a global community connected by a love of space," whatever that means.
Among the coolest items are the two disks in the cupholder area pulled from the front landing skid of the first successful flight last December. For those obsessed with individuality, customers can have those disks replaced with some made from the ship that carries them on their own space flight—complete with a personal inscription recounting their "life-changing experience."
Two powertrain trims are available: P400e and P525. For the eco-conscious, the plug-in-hybrid P400e packs a combined 398 horsepower from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor. The P525 is meatier, packing the supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 with 518 horsepower.
Remember, only official ticketholders have access to this special edition. If you're wondering why Range Rover was the company involved in this project, this isn't the first time the British luxury SUV purveyor has teamed up with Virgin Galactic. The luxury automaker gave away a ticket back in 2014 as part of a video contest, and a Range Rover towed SpaceShipTwo in 2016 as part of the ship's launch promotion. Of course, program participants can expect to ride in Range Rover shuttles when on site for the flight.
Range Rover didn't reveal the special edition's price tag, but considering it was created for people who dropped $250,000 for a relatively short flight, it's probably far above the six-figure watermark.