Land Rover has announced that it will begin producing its first-ever hybrid models in the Range Rover Hybrid and the Range Rover Sport Hybrid, which will "deliver outstanding fuel economy and significantly lower carbon-dioxide emissions, and retain Land Rover's renowned capability and performance."
Both models will utilize the same hybrid powertrain, with the 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine and electric motor putting out 335hp and 700Nm through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Both vehicles can sprint to 100kph in under seven seconds, with a top speed of 218kph despite reducing its carbon-dioxide emissions by 26% to 169g/km.
According to Land Rover, the vehicles' electric motor also harvests kinetic energy through regenerative braking, charging the lithium-ion battery pack when the vehicle is slowing. In addition, the vehicles can travel in pure electric mode at speeds of up to 48kph for up to 1.6km "before the diesel engine seamlessly restarts."
Of course, being Range Rover vehicles, both models continue to deliver the brand's renowned capability and versatility, with the four-wheel drive system--including the Terrain Response 2 system--offering "uncompromised wading and ground clearance."
To demonstrate the capabilities of the new hybrids, three Range Rover Hybrids have embarked on a journey from the Range Rover brand's home in Solihull in the UK to the home of its parent company Tata in Mumbai, India.
"We are excited to introduce the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Hybrids, the world's first hybrid SUVs with legendary Land Rover capability," said Land Rover global brand director John Edwards. "The addition of a smooth electric drive enhances refinement, cuts carbon-dioxide emissions and delivers staggering performance on a par with our SDV8 engine."
The Range Rover Hybrid and the Range Rover Sport Hybrid will officially go on sale in September, with the delivery of the very first units starting in early 2014.
Only time will tell if Land Rover will ever make a production-model hybrid of the Defender. After all, it's already testing an all-electric Defender.