The new compact Range Rover will not be available with a hybrid at launch, but Jaguar Land Rover is making good progress on the technology, with more than 100 engineers dedicated to development.
“Hybrid is an expensive [engineering] investment and an expensive piece cost, so the focus has to be on larger vehicles,” said Land Rover boss Phil Popham.
Development is focused on the Range Rover Sport, a hybrid version of which is being tested. Targets include a range of 20 miles and top speed of 50mph in electric-only mode, and combined-cycle tailpipe CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km.
But Land Rover’s hybrids boss Peter Riching said, “Our projections are that it will be a lot less than that.”
The new technology - which includes an eight-speed ZF gearbox with integrated electric motor and no torque converter, plus a 160-litre lithium ion battery pack - adds around 200kg to the vehicle. But fresh weight savings actually result in a lower kerb weight.