This Land Rover Land_e, shown at Geneva, is a showcase for eight technologies that will appear in production Land Rovers by 2010.
Grouped under the title of e-Terrain, all focus on helping Land Rovers tread ever more lightly; Land Rover claims that collectively these features result in a 30 per cent improvement in fuel economy, reduce CO2 emissions for a Freelander-sized vehicle to 150g/km and eliminate wheel slippage. It has taken the last nine years for Land Rover’s cross-range C02 emissions to fall by 13 per cent; these are major gains.
The most intriguing system is the Electric Rear Axle Drive. As the name states, this is an electric motor driving the rear axle, built into the rear differential. Up to 20mph, it is the only power source. Drive goes to the front wheels under normal conditions and to the rear as needed.
The engine is started as needed by a starter/alternator that enables it to be cut and restarted easily when stationary. This alone reduces CO2 emissions by 20 per cent. The electric motor is also used by the Terrain Response System when off-roading for extra low-down torque. That system will gain a sixth mode to improve fuel economy on-road by softening throttle response and changing up early.