After introducing its first mild-hybrid systems in four-cylinder powerplants for the new Evoque and Discovery Sport last year, the technology will be introduced in two new six-cylinder diesels. Land Rover hasn’t officially confirmed details, however.
It is understood that a 296bhp 3.0-litre MHEV unit, badged D300, will be offered on HSE, HSE Dynamic and Autobiography Dynamic trims of the Range Rover Sport. The mild-hybrid system will give a moderate efficiency boost, as well as aiding smooth stop/start driving thanks to an integrated starter-generator.
A new, more powerful version of that same engine putting out 345bhp (badged D350) will be available in higher-end trims such as HST. That unit will effectively replace the flagship Ford-sourced 4.4-litre diesel V8, currently built in Mexico and based on a 10-year-old design. Oddly, information for the new unit has already been published by automotive data suppliers, despite it not being listed by Land Rover itself.
The data reveals that the new unit puts out 516lb ft of torque, giving a 0-62mph time of 6.5sec and a top speed of 140mph in the Range Rover Sport. It also claims 35.3mpg and emits 210g/km of CO2. These figures are notably improved on the V8 diesel.
The same two engines will be added to the full-size Range Rover, with the 0-62mph of the D350 rising to 7.1sec and CO2 emissions up to 225g/km. The D350 will only be available on higher trims of the Range Rover, too.
We can also anticipate either one or both of these units to emerge on the Jaguar side with the upcoming facelift of the XF and F-Pace, originally expected to be unveiled by now but likely to be pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While it remains available to order, it is unclear if there is any intention to return the V8 diesel to the brand in future, but it’s unlikely given the relative inefficiency it offers next to six-cylinder alternatives. This unit is one of the last Ford-sourced engines to be produced, with production of the AJ petrol V8 to cease towards the end of this year at Ford’s Bridgend factory.