True to its word, Land Rover has started electrifying its range with the launch of the heavily updated and overhauled Range Rover Sport.
The first ever Range Rover to come with a hybrid powertrain, it uses a four-cylinder 300hp engine and a 104hp eclectic motor. When working in unison the car is capable of hitting 100km/h in 6.7 seconds and a top speed of 137mph. While that figure may be off the pace compared with the hybrid setups that litter the current Porsche Cayenne range, the Range Rover Sport serves up a huge 640Nm of toque, crucial for real off-road prowess. And then of course, there's the fuel economy.
"These 2018 updates make the Range Rover Sport an even more attractive proposition with CO2 emissions down to 64g/km and a 101mpg on the combined cycle," said Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director, Jeremy Hicks.
The hybrid is of the plug-in variety and will enable the huge luxury SUV to travel for 30 miles, on or off road on electric power alone. What's more, drivers can fine-tune the powertrain so that performance is a priority (both motors working together), or retaining battery charge, or, smartest of all, using the car's GPS system to plan a journey and calculate the best mix of pure petrol, pure electric and combined propulsion for arriving at a destination with the best fuel economy and lowest CO2 emissions.
Meanwhile for those heading seriously off-road, the electric motor provides even more reassurance as it can actively torque split power from the instantaneous electric motor as well as from the gasoline unit. All of which will make the car even better at coping with low-speed challenging off-road maneuvering.
However, the changes don't stop there. The car's exterior has been significantly tweaked and the interior taken up yet another notch in terms of luxury and connectivity. "When we started the design process with this new Range Rover Sport, it was important that we maintained its sporting prowess while evolving the exterior design," said Land Rover Chief Design Officer, Gerry McGovern.
And of course, all of the other powertrains on offer have been overhauled, including the one under the hood of the flagship Range Rover Sport SVR. Taking lessons learned from turning the F-Type coupe into a 200mph supercar, the new Range Rover's supercharged V8 unit now outputs 575hp, which when combined with the use of carbon fiber body panels to cut weight and lower the center of gravity, results in a seven-seat SUV capable of hitting 60mph in 4.3 seconds.