The bulk of the Land Rover model range is traditionally diesel-powered – a choice that makes sense, thanks to diesel's superior mid-range torque and economy over petrol. But with attitudes towards oil-burners at an all-time low, Land Rover has unveiled a new option – the brand's first plug-in hybrid model.
It's based on the Range Rover Sport, but instead of the model's usual selection of six and eight-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, there's a hybrid powertrain badged as P400e.
It mates a four-cylinder petrol engine with 296bhp to a 114bhp electric motor, giving comparable performance to the rest of the Range Rover line-up, but with far greater fuel economy – under the right circumstances.
Land Rover claims that the P400e will sprint from 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds, and on to a top speed of 137mph – impressive figures for a car that weighs over two tonnes, and faster than any other model other than the two petrol V8s. On the economy front, figures are even more surprising, and Land Rover claims that the P400e will return 101mpg on the combined cycle, and emit just 64g/km of CO2.
Those figures are obviously based on how you use the car. With a pure-electric range of around 31 miles, it's very possible that those with a short commute and charging points at either end could go weeks without ever using a drop of petrol.
The P400e uses several tricks to maximise economy. A special driving mode called PEO (Predictive Energy Optimisation) uses data from the sat-nav to optimise the switch between petrol and electric power.
The new hybrid Range Rover will start from £70,800, and deliveries will begin in early 2018.