New compact Range Rover will not be available with a hybrid at launch
13 May 2010

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.

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Our Verdict

Range Rover Sport

The Range Rover Sport offers just the right dynamic twist on the well trodden SUV formula

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week