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Land Rover will unveil the next step in its mission to become a ‘greener’ automaker at the Geneva Auto Show in just a few weeks time. Set to take the stand alongside the new 3-door and 5-door Evoque models is the Range_e Range Rover Sport.
Powered by a turbo-diesel V6 engine, mated to a plug-in hybrid setup, the Range_e can travel up to 20 miles on pure electric power and reach a total distance of 690 miles.
While an excellent solution to fuel economy and environmental concerns, hybrid diesels are prohibitively expensive for most automakers. That rule may not, however, apply to Land Rover, as many customers purchase the vehicles particularly because of their exclusivity and price.
Still just a concept at this point, Land Rover may make a production announcement for the hybrid diesel SUV in Geneva, with previous reports suggesting it would see production in 2013.
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]