Land Rover is finalising the technical set-up of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of its Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models, which are due to hit the road early next year. The petrol-electric models will combine power from Jaguar Land Rover’s 2.0-litre Ingenium engine with an electric drive module (EDM). The petrol engine is predicted to make 296bhp and 295lb ft, while the electric motor produces 201bhp and 332lb ft. The models are expected to offer a pure-electric range of around 30 miles.
Jaguar has developed its electric motor in-house rather than purchase an existing unit from a supplier, because no off-the-shelf option fits the Range Rover. The electric motor is mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and draws its power from a lithium ion battery located under the boot floor. On-road testing for the new drivetrain is well under way. The Range Rover PHEV’s closest rival will be the BMW X5 xDrive40e, but its combined outputs of 309bhp and 332lb ft should be surpassed by the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport plug-in set-up. The model will be the first to use Jaguar Land Rover’s newly developed PHEV drivetrain, but it is expected to be introduced into Jaguar’s F-Pace, XF and XJ ranges in the future. I twill give each model drastically lower CO2 outputs (according to the New European Driving Cycle), helping these PHEV models to become the most tax-friendly variants in their line-ups. It will also boost the appeal of the models in China, where emissions limits are becoming increasingly tough.
Land Rover already produces a hybrid version of the Range Rover, but that system mates a larger 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine to an electric drive motor. This diesel-electric set-up produces a peak of 349bhp along with CO2 emissions of 164g/km, both of which should also be eclipsed by the Range Rover’s new petrol-electric powertrain. The two new petrol-electric Range Rovers are being readied as sales continue to rise at Jaguar Land Rover. Its global sales in the first quarter of this year totalled 137,463 units, which is 3.5% upon the same period last year.
Demand grew by 30% in China, helped by the success of the market-specific Jaguar XFL, which boosted XF sales by 22%. Sales in the United States were the second most improved, up by 16%. UK sales dropped by 14%, likely affected by recent changes to vehicle excise duty rates, which substantially increased for cars priced at more than £40,000. Overall, Coventry-based JLR’s first-quarter revenue for this year increased by 5% to £5.6 billion, with pre-tax profits totalling £595 million.