Range Rover buyers will soon be able to satiate their appetite for hybrid technology. Was it ever very big?
The notion of a fuel efficient utility vehicle from the Range Rover brand might be as foreign as, well, the vehicles themselves. But Land Rover is claiming significant efficiency gains without sacrificing performance, comfort or refinement. The hybrid powertrain will be offered identically in both the normal-sized and smaller Sport models.
Both can travel at up to 30 mph exclusively on electric power, although that only lasts for a single mile. The British marque advertises an average 44.1 mpg, but don’t take that too seriously. EPA figures would return much poorer estimates were they available, but they won’t be. At least not any time soon.
The company has said in the past that it plans to sell hybrids in North America, but hasn’t offered specific dates. One of the biggest barriers is the diesel V6, which won’t meet U.S. emissions regulations. So much for hybrids being eco-friendly…
That system uses the brand’s 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel mated with a 35 kW electric motor and a ZF eight-speed transmission. All of that, according to Land Rover, will offer a product as durable and off-road capable as other models. Output is rates at 335 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
The extra equipment makes the trucks a little over 264 lbs heavier. Not bad when you consider that’s being spread over such a large truck. More impressively, neither model sacrifices the ability to carry a full-size spare tire and the Sport can still carry its new hobbit-sized hide-away jump seats.
Despite the added weight, they won’t be terribly slow either. According to the company, 0-60 sprints happen in 6.7 seconds for the smaller sport model and 0.2 seconds slower for its big brother. Meanwhile, the top speed is limited to 140 mph for the Sport versus 135 for the Range Rover.
Don’t expect to see them in North American showrooms until the current generation of oil burners bites the dust. European buyers, however, will begin seeing them early next year.
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