Although the SVR is the most exciting model in the line-up for pure speed, it is the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid, badged P400e, that is most important for Land Rover, addressing previous criticisms of poor fuel economy and emissions from the Range Rover Sport.
It is also the first electrified model to be released since Jaguar Land Rover announced last month that it will have an electrified version of every model on sale from 2020. The P400e combines a 296bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol unit with a 114bhp electric motor. With a total output of 398bhp available and permanent four-wheel drive, the model delivers 0-62mph in 6.7sec and a top speed of 137mph.
It emits 64g/km CO2 on a combined cycle, offers official combined fuel economy of 101mpg and is capable of 31 miles of range in electric-only mode. By comparison, the V6 diesel Range Rover Sport, the predicted biggest seller, emits 185g/km and delivers 40.4mpg.
Land Rover said the plug-in hybrid means “customers can experience zero-emission near-silent off-road luxury with uncompromised all-terrain capability” for the first time, while also having free access to most congestion charging zones.
The P400e offers two driving modes: the default Parallel Hybrid mode and EV mode. The first combines petrol and electric drive and allows the driver to optimise battery charge or fuel economy. In this mode, a Save function prevents the battery charge from dropping below the selected level and the Predictive Energy Optimisation function requires you to enter a destination into the navigation. The system, which is similar to that used in many new plug-in hybrids such as the BMW 330e, then uses GPS altitude data to optimise the switch between electric motor and petrol engine, maximising fuel economy over different gradients.