Land Rover has announced that its first hybrid models will arrive 2013 and has unveiled the Range_e, a concept based on the Range Rover Sport, but using a hybrid diesel powertrain.
Tests for the hybrid models will begin later this year with a production date set for 2013 – coinciding with a complete overhaul of the current Range Rover lineup. Both a gasoline hybrid and a diesel hybrid are planned, although the diesel hybrid is first priority and according to Car Magazine, Land Rover engineers feel that a gasoline hybrid should be quite easy once the more complex diesel hybrid has been completed. The Range Rover Sport model is expected to be the first hybrid Land Rover to hit the market.
Additional upgrades planned for the full-cycle refresh include a new 8-speed automatic transmission as well as a significantly lighter aluminum chassis – although the hybrid setup is certain to add some of that weight back on.
Once the hybrids launch, Land Rover is looking towards a 2015 launch date for a plug-in hybrid that can travel 20 miles emissions free at speeds of up to 70 mph.
GALLERY: Range_e Hybrid Range Rover Sport
[Source: Car Magazine]