As a real customization option for the Range Rover, the Autobiography program has been something they’ve had in the UK for many years, going back at least a generation.
If you don’t already know, here’s the description of the UK Autobiography program:
An Autobiography is one of those rare opportunities in life to say precisely what you want to say. With Range Rover Autobiography, you have the freedom to express you own distinct taste through wide choices of optional colors and materials creating a vehicle that is an individual as its owner. The Autobiography program is available when you specify The Range Rover Supercharged, the naturally aspirated V8, or diesel as your vehicle order and can be tailored to your individual specification. Take as many liberties as you like. Paintwork, seats, rugs, leathers, wood finishes, facia, steering wheel or perhaps an embroidered headrest. With Autobiography, there are no rules
So all this means is you really get to go crazy with customizing and tailor a Range Rover to your own unique ideas. None of this is cheap and as far as I’ve been able to find there’s no real public price list for the UK program. In the UK, it doesn’t take a completely custom design to get that Autobiography badge, key chain & sill plates – you just need to get an Autobiography paint finish, interior color change, wood package or bespoke commission.
In the U.S., we’ve had special editions through the years that get certain Autobiography options with no real customization – the 2008 Westminster being one of them, along with the various anniversary editions. It’s on these special editions we’ve been seeing more of the exterior trim painted body color, something they offer in the UK, but not here. They usually get that two toned leather interior too, and they use one of the special wood trim options.
Starting in 2009, Autobiography became available in the US, really more of an option package. For 2011, it’s a $21,485 package that you can only add to the Range Rover Supercharged. It adds every option to the Supercharged model, gives you a full leather interior with more color choices(including the two tone options, but nothing like the UK), upgraded rear seats, special wheels and a few more items. You can go with one of the special paint choices which cost between $9,500 & $14,500. And you have three special wood trim choices, which go for $2,300. There are packages for the Sport now too, but I’m talking about Range Rovers here.
So we are getting closer to the actual Autobiography program here in the US but still nothing like the levels of customization they offer in the UK. In the pictures below, you can see pictures from the 2005 UK Autobiography guide, a hard cover book that really shows you what’s possible.
My main question is, why can’t we get this here? Are we too large of a market? Would it be too overwhelming for the Land Rover Special Vehicles people? Or do we just not care about customizing like this in the US and the marketing people have decided it’s not worth it? And how much extra work goes into a US Autobiography vs. a UK model? Does the US model get any special finishing by the Autobiography division?
I’m not looking for any of these crazy color combos, but it would be nice to have more options.
It is a great time for US Range Rover buyers, there are more options & features then ever before; hopefully it will open the door for a real Autobiography program here.