Rumors of a plug-in hybrid Range Rover
are nothing new, and we’ve even seen images of a Range_e hybrid being recharged
at a U.K. shopping mall. While it’s no mystery that such a vehicle was being developed, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) seemed hesitant to discuss production plans.
According to AutoExpress
(via Green Car Reports
), Land Rover has now confirmed its intentions to market a plug-in hybrid Range Rover, at least to customers in Europe. What remains unclear is when such a vehicle could hit the market, and if it would be U.S.-bound.
Per Peter Richings, JLR’s chief hybrid technology engineer, a plug-in hybrid Range Rover
could arrive “sometime after 2015, but before 2020.” That likely means JLR has been holding back development, awaiting the release of the new, lighter Range Rover
it will be based on.
As to the choice of Range Rover as a plug-in hybrid, Richings commented that, “Range Rover is the logical place to start as buyers of this car are able to afford the technology.” The added weight of the hybrid drivetrain would also be more transparent than on smaller, lighter models.
Prototype Range_e models were powered by a 3.0-liter V-6, supplemented by a 69 kilowatt electric motor and a 14.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. If the production model is based on the same powertrain, timing could work in favor of U.S. customers, as the the E.U. and U.S. will share common regulations on diesel emissions after 2014.
Another possible drivetrain is the one currently being tested in the Jaguar XJ_e, which consists of a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, a 69 kilowatt electric motor and a 12.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, although this combination may not deliver the type of output and capabilities that U.S. buyers expect.