Luxury rivals such as Rolls-Royce and Lagonda, Aston Martin’s revived marque, are readying electric models for launch, perceiving a perfect synergy between peaceful electric powertrains and luxury motoring.
However, even though MLA can accommodate a fully electric drivetrain, as well as petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid variants, it is understood that the next Range Rover will not initially be offered with one.
Instead, Land Rover wants the first electric Range Rover to be a stand-alone model. This will be a tall estate with more car-like qualities than other models in the line-up, and more limited off-road prowess.
Electric variants of other Range Rovers will subsequently be offered as part of normal model line-ups, including a version of the full-size Range Rover set for launch before 2022 and aimed chiefly at Asian megacities.
While Land Rover readies an electric Range Rover, the new model will continue with plug-in hybrid technology recently introduced in an update to the existing Range Rover.
Range Rover P400e review
The MLA’s plug-in hybrid set-up is understood to include an electrified back axle alongside a four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine, with the electric-only range increased above the 31 miles of the current P400e.
There will also be changes to the pure-combustion-engined line-up. Currently, there are 3.0-litre V6 and 4.4-litre V8 diesels and supercharged 5.0-litre V8 and 3.0-litre V6 petrols – all sourced externally and all to be axed. The new straight-six Ingenium petrol and diesel units are being built at its engine plant in Wolverhampton. In the Range Rover, these could be mixed with 48V mild-hybrid technology in most versions to improve performance and economy.
Real-world testing of the straight-six diesels has shown NOx emissions to be no higher than 80g/km – well under the limits of new regulations. Even with all its new electrified technology, the next Range Rover will keep its peerless off-road ability – Land Rover continues to see this as a key differentiator between it and newer rival offerings.
The next Range Rover’s infotainment will be an updated version of the Touch Pro Duo system, which was first seen on the Velar last year. That move represented an overhaul for Land Rover, which had long been criticised for having an outdated interior compared with peers. It has two 10.0in screens that can be used simultaneously.
Some rotary dials remain and this will continue with the next-generation Range Rover, because Land Rover is determined to keep some of the tactility found in manual actions rather than having every single function running through a touchscreen, including for its latest Terrain Response off-road system.