This is the lighter version of Ranger Rover's full-fat new flagship. Named the Range Rover P510e (from £126,455) it gets a near-identical set up to the standard RR, but with a plug-in (PHEV) drivetrain.
At the same time as trying the new Range Rover Sport we've had a chance to drive its hybrid sibling. I wasn’t able to back-to-back test it alongside with a regular combusted Range Rover but, as with the Sport, you wouldn’t instinctively know there was a difference in any isolation or comfort.
In fact, trying it alongside a Sport instead was a valuable exercise in seeing how differentiated the two models are. And the answer is: honestly, not light years. Then, is a BMW X7 so different to an X5, or an Audi Q7 to a Q8?
The Range Rover has a terrific ride quality and very low cabin noise, with a mix of materials that it can get away with towards the lower end of its pricing (the P510e is from £126,455, the lesser-powered P440e from £103,485) but at the top end – a £149,400 SV – would feel harder going.
It’s smooth and responsive and when the 3.0 engine is zinging along, it’s doing it very quietly in the background, with just a little sporting edge to it. Things are more responsive if you pull the gearlever into ‘S’ rather than ‘D’ but the electric motor is there to assist anyway – you can just use throttle rather than have to pull gears to make progress. This is a rapid car regardless.
But – and this goes for the Sport drive alongside too – it’s in the energy management where the cleverness lies. Plumb in a destination into the navigation and the car ought to know whether there’s a clean air zone on the way that’ll need electric-only motion, and save some battery for you.