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New Range Rover Hybrid targeted at Europe: Frankfurt 2013

Wed, 11 Sep 2013

The new Range Rover Hybrid (pictured) has diesel power to target Europe

It’s not the biggest news at Frankfurt, but the arrival of the Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid is big news for Land Rover, and for buyers running cars who are subject to taxation on benefits. Surprisingly, Land Rover has gone the diesel route with the hybrid, coupling the 3.0 litre diesel engine to a 46bhp electric motor which, when working together, offers the same sort of performance as the V8 diesel engine but with much better economy and emissions – 44mpg and 169g/km.

Logic would perhaps have dictated that the new hybrid should have a petrol engine, rather than a diesel, as the biggest hybrid markets in the world – the US and China – have no real appetite for diesel engines.

But Land Rover feel that the best market for the hybrid Range Rover and Sport is actually Europe, and that the diesel engine produces better economy in the hybrid setup than the V6 petrol would.

Peter Hitchings, JLR’s man in charge of hybrid tech, said:

There are a couple of reasons why we decided on a diesel.

We wanted to make the hybrid the most fuel-efficient Range Rover and we wanted it to be Europe-biased. We see a real opportunity in Europe. The technology is adaptable to petrol engines, but there are no current plans.

Interestingly, Hitchings went on to say JLR believed it was too soon for a plug-in hybrid, even though JLR have the technology fully developed. He said

The world isn’t ready for plug-in hybrids.

There isn’t the infrastructure to recharge them, and a plug-in hybrid which is not plugged in regularly is hopelessly inefficient. But the technology is fully developed and we can be ready when the market is ready.

So now you know why the new Range Rover Hybrid has a diesel engine and why it’s not a plug-in.

But are Land Rover right?

By Cars UK