Land Rover has debuted its very first true plug-in hybrid in the form of the new Range Rover Sport P400e.
The car maker has dabbled with electric vehicles before, most notably with the Range Rover Hybrid. However, that wasn’t a true plug-in electric vehicle, with the electric portion harvesting kinetic energy through regenerative braking, charging the battery when the vehicle is slowing. The car could only run for about a mile on electric-only power, with a top speed of just 30mph, and was designed primarily for quietly manoeuvring out of driveways and car parks rather than for all-electric driving on the open road.
Combining a 300hp (221kW), 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with an 85kW electric motor, the new Range Rover Sport hybrid has a vastly improved electric-only range of 31 miles, with a rapid charge time of 2 hours and 45 minutes, and a full charging time of 7 hours 30 minutes. The new model’s unveiling follows the firm’s announcement that from 2020 all new Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles will be available with electric options.
In terms of total power output, the new hybrid packs 404hp (297kW) – available from the permanent four-wheel drive system. It manages 0 to 60mph in just 6.3 seconds with a top speed of 137mph and 640Nm of combined torque. The prism-shaped lithium-ion battery is located beneath the floor of the boot at the rear of the car, while the plug-in access point is at the front of the vehicle.
Along with its eco-friendly credentials, the Range Rover Sport boasts an enhanced chassis design, along with a Touch Duo Pro infotainment system, dubbed ‘Blade’ by its developers, which is described as “your twin high-definition touchscreen digital butler”. What’s more, the car packs a new gesture-controlled sun blind and pixel-laser LED headlights for greater luminance and intelligent dimming to avoid dazzling other drivers.
“These 2018 updates make the Range Rover Sport an even more attractive proposition with CO2 emissions down to 64g/km and a 101mpg on the combined cycle coupled with new infotainment technology making life simpler,” said Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, Jeremy Hicks.
“Our efficient diesel and petrol engines are our cleanest ever and remain utterly relevant today on our journey to electrification.”
Drivers can switch between the default Parallel Hybrid mode which combines petrol and electric drive, and EV mode where the car runs solely on electric power for quieter zero-emission journeys.
Meanwhile, the new range’s flagship 575hp Range Rover Sport SVR delivers a 0-60mph time of just 4.3 seconds, making it the fastest Range Rover to date.
Prices go from £61,315, with the hybrid models starting at £70,800 and deliveries starting in early 2018.