A Big Step For Land Rover
The popular British car manufacturer, Land Rover is the second oldest four-wheel-drive car brand in the world. Something about its rugged design and big body that makes you feel completely safe and protected when driving any one of their widespread models, including the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Range Rover Evoque. What continues to keep long time Land Rover customers loyal and new drivers of the brand wanting more is the company’s continued success in inventing new ideas and reinvented successful concepts. Their awareness to consumer demands and new trends have also kept the Land Rover brand relevant and extremely current.
Just a little over a month ago at Geneva, Land Rover announced that they are expecting to debut a new diesel-electric V6 hybrid, along with a conventional V8 turbo diesel for its 2014 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September. The new engines are expected to be available in Europe by the end of this year.
The 2014 Range Rover Sport Hybrid is expected to be powered by an updated version of the powertrain used on the 2011 Range e plug-in hybrid, which came with a 3.0 liter TDV6 diesel engine, producing 242 BHP (180 kW), mated to an electric motor generating 93 BHP (69 kW). The total output stood at 334 BHP (249 kW). Power was being sent to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic ZF transmission. The concept car had a 14.2 kWh lithium-ion battery which allowed an electric range of 20 miles, or 32 km.
According to Land Rover’s Chief Programme Engineer Stuart Frith, “the significant weight reduction of 420kg has allowed us to put an inline four-cylinder engine in the car which will come later in the life cycle of the product.” He also went on to say that the “prototypes that were made with the in-line four-cylinder engine in the car really still is truly a Range Rover; it still has the performance and off road capability, because of that weight saving.”
And although the engine range for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport is already quite extensive, with several V6 and V8 petrol engines and two V6 diesels currently available, Frith offered some figures on the V8 turbo diesel, claiming that the engine will produce 700Nm of torque. He added, “Another addition, really a reintroduction for Range Rover Sport is a V8 diesel, so the SDV8 re-joins the line-up at the end of 2013, and that got 700Nm of torque.”
In regards to the C02 emissions, Firth stated that the output on the new hybrid variant would stand at 169 g/km and despite the hybrid’s seven-seat capacity setup, the cabin and luggage space won’t be affected because all the hybrid hardware would be bolted under the floor.
When asked if the 2014 Range Rover Sport hybrid will feature a motor fitted between the diesel engine and the ZF eight-speed transmission, Firth said “it’s very safe to assume that.”
This is a pretty impressive move for Land Rover and is already being welcomed with much success and high hopes. But, until Land Rover develops a gasoline/electric motor combo, the hybrid won’t be available in the United States just yet.