Land Rover is launching its first-ever hybrid models – the Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid – which the company says will deliver outstanding fuel economy, significantly lower CO2 emissions and retain Land Rover’s renowned capability and performance. The two all-aluminium models are based on Land Rover’s Premium Lightweight Architecture and share an identical powertrain. They are the world’s first premium diesel SUV hybrids.
To demonstrate the capabilities of the new hybrids, three Range Rover Hybrids will embark tomorrow on an epic trip from the home of the Range Rover brand in Solihull to the home of the parent company Tata, in Mumbai, India.
This ‘Silk Trail 2013’ 16 000km expedition visits 12 countries and takes in some of the world’s most challenging roads, passes and trails, including part of the ancient, 4 000 mile Silk Road connecting Asia with the Mediterranean. These are the first hybrids to ever attempt this challenging route.
The new Range Rover Hybrid powertrain features three driver-selectable modes and combines Land Rover’s 3.0-litre SDV6 diesel engine with a 35kW electric motor integrated with the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The hybrid system, including lithium ion battery pack, inverter and electric motor weighs less than 120kg.
The electric motor produces 170Nm torque to boost acceleration and drives the vehicle in EV Mode. The motor also acts as a generator, harvesting kinetic energy through regenerative braking, charging the battery when the vehicle is slowing. In driver-selectable EV mode the Range Rover Hybrid is said to travel at speeds of up to 48km/h for a range of up to 1.6km before the diesel engine restarts.
Together, output of the diesel engine and electric motor is 250kW at 4000rpm and 700Nm torque between 1 500-3 000rpm. Both models are claimed to accelerate to 100km/h in under seven seconds with a top speed of 218km/h, combined with a 26 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions to 169g/km, equivalent to 5.3 litres/100km on the combined cycle.
The latest generation Range Rover models have all been designed with the integration of a hybrid system in mind. Consequently, the liquid cooled battery pack is mounted beneath the floor of the vehicle in a protective boron-steel cradle without impacting on the cabin or luggage space. The Range Rover Hybrid has the same five-seat capacity and luggage space as the standard vehicle and retains the full-size spare wheel. This no-compromise philosophy is echoed in the Range Rover Sport Hybrid whose interior is unchanged from the standard model, right down to the 5+2 seating.
Both hybrid Range Rover models retain Land Rover’s four-wheel drive system including Terrain Response 2.
The ‘Silk Trail 2013’ expedition featuring the new Range Rover Hybrids is scheduled to visit France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and India. The expedition will be broken into 10 separate legs, with the Range Rover Hybrid vehicles driven by teams of Land Rover development engineers and invited media – arriving in Mumbai on October 15.