Land Rover are working on hybrid technology for the next generation Land Rovers and are running hybrid test-beds in a small fleet of Range Rovers Sports called The Range_e.
Pragmatically, Land Rover are working hard to change the world’s perception of its products by shouting as loudly as they can about the ‘Green’ credentials they have, from off-setting carbon emissions to 45k miles on every car they sell to adding stop-start to the Freelander 2.
But long-term Land Rover are looking to introduce new, lightweight cars in 2012/2013 with the same aluminium underpinnings as Jaguar, and introducing some hybrid technology on the way. With that in mind they’ve put together a Range Rover Sport based Range_e to trial the tech ahead of its use in the next generation of Land Rover’s cars and are planning on running five cars as test-beds this year.
Land Rover are developing both diesel hybrid and petrol hybrid versions with a view to keeping both the US and European markets happy. Transmitting the power on all hybrid versions will be a new eight-speed ZF ‘box which will also be used in the non-hybrid versions.
The technology in the Range_e mates the existing 3.0 litre diesel (good start – as we discovered in our recent review of the Range Rover Sport 3.0 litre diesel) with a 34hp electric motor on a common driveshaft. Land Rover reckon this configuration in the plug-in RRS hybrid will give 20 miles EV only and emissions of less than 100g/km with a top speed of 70mph.
Very interesting stuff. And none of this CVT nonsense just because it’s a hybrid.