Land Rover confirms diesel hybrid Range Rover for 2012
Land Rover has confirmed that diesel hybrid technology will feature in their flagship Range Rover by 2012.
The manufacturer will begin on-road testing with a prototype - dubbed the range_e - by the end of the year. The test mule is built on a Range Rover Sport platform and uses the existing 3.0-litre TDV6 engine in conjunction with an integrated electric motor.
Land Rover expects the new technology to be capable of a 20 mile range on battery power alone and reduce the SUV's emissions to less than 100g/km of CO2.
That would be a significant improvement over the current generation of hybrid SUVs. The new Touareg Hybrid produces 193g/km CO2 from a petrol-hybrid solution while the best on offer is currently the Lexus RX450h with a 149g/km rating – also from a petrol electric system.
Jaguar Land Rover has committed £800m to developing environmental technologies, and recently announced that its new compact Range Rover would be offered with two-wheel drive, making it the brand's lightest, most fuel-efficient model to date with emissions less than 130g/km CO2.
Looking forward to the next generation of Range Rovers, the manufacturer says it will focus on lowering the weight of its vehicles (the hybrid tech is said to add 200kg), reducing parasitic loss and increasing powertrain efficiency.