You know that old trope of ‘been there, bought the t-shirt’? Well, if you’re one of the lucky 600-700 estimated ‘Future Astronauts’ who have dropped US$250,000 on a space flight with Virgin Galactic, instead of a neon t-shirt to match your light dusting of solar radiation, the souvenir en vogue is a Range Rover. Because, of course it is.
The latest model to emerge from Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), the Range Rover Astronaut Edition is perhaps the most exclusive Range Rover yet created. Only available to those who are signed up to fly with Virgin Galactic, the SUV arrives as part of the ongoing partnership between Virgin Galactic and Land Rover.
Now, we’re talking about a very discerning customer here – so this is no re-badged Rangey. The exterior is finished with a “Zero Gravity Blue” paint inspired by ‘the depth and intensity of the night sky’ and features exclusive badging all over. The kitsch Virgin Galactic rocket motif features heavily in the car, most notably appearing as a large puddle light and stitched into the headrests. In addition, the ‘DNA of Flight’ logo, a graphic showing the rocket evolving from a bird is seen on the carbon fibre front console and debossed onto the rear armrest.
The real showpiece, though? The cup holder inserts. Prior to flying, ‘Future Astronauts’ will have discs crafted out of wood from the landing skid of Virgin Spaceship Unity’s 2018 flight. One of the discs will read ‘see you up there’ and the other will have flight details inscribed. When that status changes to ‘Astronaut’, owners will have the discs replaced with ones from their own flight’s landing skid which will be personally inscribed with “specific details of a life-changing experience”.
The Astronaut Edition will be available in two powertrains, Land Rover’s 297kW P400e plug-in-hybrid (PHEV) or 380kW 5.0-litre P525 supercharged V8. It’s not yet been revealed how much it is, but we bet it won’t be far off the cost of the flight.
This may be one of the most exclusive special editions ever made, but it’s certainly not the most bizarre! Click through the gallery above to see more of the weirdest limited editions ever made.
What other weird special editions are out there? Share your favourites in the comments below.