Land Rover has further progressed the development of its acclaimed Range Rover with the global introduction of Range Rover Hybrid Long Wheelbase at Auto China 2014. The derivative brings together two of the most recent innovations in Range Rover lineup in a vehicle, which provides an unparalleled combination of interior space, premium luxury, no compromise and outstanding emissions and fuel performance in Land Rover’s renowned breadth of capability. Together with Range Rover Sport Hybrid, it will be the first diesel hybrid model from any automaker to be offered in China. China is recognized by Land Rover as a potentially strong market for its new premium hybrid vehicles, whilst the long wheelbase design is identified as best suiting Chinese customers’ preferences for spaciousness and luxury.
Global order books will open in May and first deliveries to customers in China are expected from the end of 2014. This new derivative reinforces the status of Range Rover as one of the most successful premium vehicle ranges of the world, witnessed in over 100 awards amassed by the new Range Rover Sport and Range Rover in the past 18 months.
The production vehicles benefit from valuable insights the automaker gained from its Silk Trail expedition last year. A fleet of Range Rover Hybrids proved their all-terrain capability and durability on a grueling 16,000km route from LR factory in Solihull, across central Asia to Mumbai headquarters of Tata, Land Rover’s parent company. After the journey, the vehicles were stripped down and scrutinized by Land Rover engineers to enhance understanding of how the technologies and designs can be fine-tuned.
The Range Rover Hybrid engine combines SDV6 3.0 liter diesel powerplant with a 35kW electric motor, incorporated with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The system allows the driver to select from three different drive modes for maximizing efficiency or performance, and is capable of delivering 26% lower CO2 emissions (169g/km) and 6.4 l/100 km (44.1mpg).
Installing the hybrid diesel electric powertrain in the Range Rover Long Wheelbase has not compromised driving experience or space. In fact, the LWB offers the advantages of an extra 186mm of legroom for rearseat passengers and, with the option of unique seating package, an impressive increase in the rearseat angle of recline to 17 degrees. The hybrid system uses the same proven four-wheel drive technology and Terrain Response system deployed in the diesel and petrol powered models. Wading depth capability is undiminished at a best-in-class 900mm.
The complete system, including an inverter, electric motor and lithium ion battery pack, weighs less than 120kg. The electric motor churns out 170 newton meters of torque and operates to boost acceleration when required, and to drive the vehicle in EV (electric vehicle) Mode. The motor also acts as a generator, harvesting kinetic energy through regenerative braking, charging the battery when the vehicle is slowing. In EV mode, the Range Rover Hybrid can travel at speeds of up to 48km/h (30mph) for a range of up to one mile (1.6km) before the diesel engine seamlessly restarts.
Together, output of the diesel engine and electric motor is 340PS at 4000 rpm and a best-in-class 700 newton meters of torque between 1500-3000rpm, delivering performance on a par with the SDV8 powerplant. The version to be sold in China is technologically identical to that marketed elsewhere, except for a change to the exhaust system to take into account the different local emissions standards.