“Plug-in hybrids definitely have the most potential. The Range Rover is the logical place to start as buyers of this car are able to afford the technology,” JLR chief hybrid technology engineer Peter Richings told AutoExpress. “It makes sense to put it in the top car and let it filter its way down the range.”
Keeping the 5.0-liter V8, the 2013 Range Rover seen below is 22 percent more fuel efficient but that won’t be enough in the future. The U.S. government recently passed a rule requiring all automaker fleets to have an average 54.5 mpg by 2025.
JLR already ventured into plug-in territory with its XJ_e PHV which had a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder with a meek 94 hp and a lithium ion battery pack. The system offered 25 miles of pure electric range.
Richings said the Range Rover won’t use exactly the same system, but that it will be close. He didn’t mention details about plans for U.S. sale, but given that the European diesel hybrid Range Rover won’t be sold in North America soon, offering an efficient option would help boost JLR’s CAFE numbers significantly.
He mentioned at a vague timeline for the SUV as well, saying “it will be sometime after 2015, but before 2020.” That further support the theory that this version will be sold to Americans because those years slip neatly in line with offering the product before the Obama administration’s deadline.
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