JLR electrifies Range Rover Sport with plug-in hybrid option

Range Rover Sport

Land Rover has revealed its first ever plug-in hybrid, as its plan to offer every new vehicle with an electric option by 2020 continues.

The first ever Range Rover to come with a hybrid powertrain, it uses a four-cylinder 300hp engine and a 104hp eclectic motor. The PHEV can reach 60 miles per hour in 6.3 seconds and has a top speed of 137 miles per hour.

When rapid charging, a full charge can be achieved in as little as 2 hours 45 minutes at home using a dedicated 32-amp wall box.

The Sport interior's biggest upgrade, though, is nearly certain to be Touch Pro Duo, the same twin 10-inch screen infotainment system that I experienced in August in the new 2018 Range Rover Velar.

The 2018 Range Rover Sport P400e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) will offer company vehicle customers a far more appealing option, as its 2.0-litre petrol engine, 85kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack lead to low Carbon dioxide emissions of 64g/km.

It comes with an EV mode as well as the normal hybrid function, and can "Save" electric charge, with Predictive Energy Consumption using Global Positioning System to manage the balance between the two power sources when required. 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.

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The Solihull-built Range Rover Sport has sold more than 732,000 since it went on sale in 2005.

While the hybrid in the P400e works similarly to systems found in other brands, a highlight is the so-called Predictive Energy Optimisation whereby the driver can select a destination in the sat-nav system and allow the auto to automatically optimise the operation of the internal combustion engine and electric motor.

The auto maker has dabbled with electric vehicles before, most notably with the Range Rover Hybrid.

This uses two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens housed in the dash to control features such as the satellite navigation and vehicle settings, and lends the SUV's cabin a more minimalist and futuristic aesthetic. Parallel hybrid mode, which is the default, combines petrol and electric drive.

In other areas of the lineup, the MY2018 range introduces the company's latest Ingenium engine family including a twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel, a four-cylinder petrol producing up to 221kW, and the usual V6 and supercharged V8 offerings.

The entry-level Range Rover Sport, the 237bhp 2.0 SD4 diesel, costs £61,315, the P400e starts from £70,800 and the range-topping SVR is £99,680. Deliveries begin early in 2018.

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