|The Range_e development 4WD diesel PHEV. Click to enlarge.|
Land Rover presented its Range_e development model at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this week. This development model features a plug-in hybrid diesel-electric powertrain that Land Rover expects to make available in future production models, following the scheduled launch of its diesel-electric hybrid in 2013.
Range_e is based on the Range Rover Sport and uses the current 245 PS (242 hp, 180 kW) 3.0-liter TDV6 diesel engine, working with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a 69 kW electric motor. Using a parallel hybrid system with a 14.2 kW/h lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from an external 240V power source, Range_e can be driven on electric power alone for more than 20 miles.
Range_e has a maximum system output of 339 PS (334 hp, 249 kW) and a top speed of around 120 mph (193 km/h), delivering a fuel economy of 85 mpg UK (71 mpg US, 3.32 L/100km). Overall CO2 emissions are 89g/km. Improved fuel efficiency from the hybrid system makes 690 miles possible on a full tank of fuel.
Range_e is also engineered with the same full 4WD capability as the standard Range Rover Sport, with high and low range in the transmission, front and rear differentials and a mechanical locking centre differential. Dependant on the driver demand, the car’s intelligent system decides the most efficient method to deliver the power required, whether this is by electric, diesel or both. The Range_e also features regenerative braking to capture energy usually wasted in heat energy via the brakes. This energy can then be redeployed to drive the vehicle, further reducing fossil fuel consumption.
This system is the first example of a premium plug-in hybrid that also provides the full four-wheel-drive capability that you would expect from a Land Rover. It is an evolution of the production intent diesel-electric hybrid technology which will be launched in our next generation of SUVs and will be available for customers within the next two years.—John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director
The Range_e is one of a number of Land Rover projects supported by the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board and five prototype models are currently engaged in a test programme with Land Rover’s fellow members of the CABLED (Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators) consortium.
Pete Richings, Chief Engineer Hybrids, said that they started the Range_e fleet trial in December 2010 and have so far covered 12,000 miles on the trial between the five test vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover is committed to spending £800 million (US$1.3 billion) on environmental technologies and has targeted a 25% reduction in its fleet-average CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2012.