The information was revealed by Land Rover’s global brand director, John Edwards, who spoke recently with AutoExpress. He explained that a 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine option set for Europe is already matching the emissions and fuel economy targets of the originally planned hybrid Evoque.
There's also the price factor; the Evoque is the entry-level model for the more premium Range Rover brand and adding a costly hybrid system could push the vehicle’s price beyond what customers are willing to pay.
“Our approach to Evoque is more viable for the company and customers because hybrid technology on a relatively small car would load the price and add weight,” Edwards explained. “That technology is better suited to larger cars, probably from Discovery upwards. Our engineers have done a great job reducing weight on Evoque.”
Land Rover has already revealed a hybrid prototype based on the Range Rover Sport model. It featured a more conventional ‘parallel’ hybrid system consisting of a 34 horsepower electric motor matched with a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel engine on a common driveshaft. In this configuration, the diesel-electric Range Rover Sport is able to travel up to 20 miles on electric power alone and when driving with the turbodiesel engine has a fuel economy rating comparable to that of a compact car.
Real world testing of the Range Rover Sport hybrid prototype is expected to start later this year and further down the track Land Rover eventually plans to start tests of a gasoline-electric version and beyond that a plug-in hybrid version as well.