There’s a lot to love about the 2014 Range Rover Sport and the British automaker is banking on its popularity by expanding the lineup by offering even more powertrain options.
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Earlier this year, Land Rover introduced three hybrid-electric concept vehicles at the Geneva Motor Show, and now Land Rover is looking to put them to the test.
The RAC Future Car Challenge is an annual event that showcases technology that we might see in production cars in years to come. Think of it as a motor show that doesn’t stand still.
Land Rover is keen to show that its plug-in diesel-hybrid concepts actually work, and has entered them in this years challenge.
The Range_e is based on a Range Rover Sport TDV6. While the concept retains the production vehicles 245-hp, 3.0-liter, V6 engine, it also gains a 69KW electric motor, which runs on a 14.2KW/h lithium-ion battery pack. This vehicle can be charged using a 240V household plug, and can propel this heavy 4×4 vehicle upto 20-miles on battery power alone.
The challenge will be held on November 5th, in London and will cover a 60-mile route. The target of this challenge is to see who can use the least amount of energy to cover the route in the 2 hour, 45 minute minimum to 3 hour 30 minute maximum time.
Land Rover is currently developing a diesel hybrid version of its Range Rover Sport model with a targeted sales date in 2012. A small fleet of five vehicles is expected to be road-ready and testing next year.
Currently Range Rover has an excellent luxury and off-road image, but a terrible reputation when it comes to miles per gallon and emissions. Land Rover says this new hybrid Range Rover should emit just 100g/km of CO2, which is far less than the only other hybrid in this segment, the Lexus RX450 at 148 g/km of CO2.
The diesel engine used would be the same 3.0-liter unit used in the current Range Rover Sport diesel model, that makes roughly 245-hp and 443 ft-lbs of torque. It would be mated to a 25kW electric motor and would be a full hybrid setup capable of running on either gasoline, electric power or a combination of both. It will also have an electric-only range of 20 miles.
No estimates of fuel-economy were given, but the current diesel RR Sport averages 30.7 mpg (in the European cycle), so we expect at least a 5 mpg improvement on that.
The high-tech ERAD electric rear axle that that is expected in the LRX model will not be a part of this hybrid package. As for the LRX, it will debut in 2011 and mark a fresh new start for Land Rover as it begins an up-hill battle to re-brand itself as an environmentally responsible automaker.