Green Car reviews - Range Rover_e

PUBLISHED: 11:54 19 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:11 20 February 2013

Green Car reviews - Range Rover_e

Green Car reviews - Range Rover_e

Green car expert Richard Lawton takes a look at the Range Rover_e

The appearance of the Range Rover_e confirms that it isnt just Toyota and Honda that are busy at work on hybrid technology. Hybrids are more economical than conventional vehicles, yet they still have a motor engine so theres no range anxiety.

At the moment you cant walk into a Land Rover dealership and buy a Range Rover_e, only five exist and they have been produced on a trial basis. However, the good news is that it will launch in 2013 and thats electrifying when you consider the environmental credentials of the Range Rover_e.

The vehicle is based on a standard production Range Rover Sport, the only hint of anything revolutionary is the additional fuel cap on the side and the fancy artwork on the body. However, peel away the skin and its a very different machine.

For the prototype, the engineers have done away with the spare wheel, installed a 69kW electric motor and battery pack. At the same time they have kept the Sports 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine.

The result is what is known as a parallel hybrid system which allows the 4x4 to run purely on electricity for up to 20 miles with zero tailpipe emissions, alternatively the two systems can work in tandem.

The Range Rover_e has environmental statistics that are astounding for such a heavy machine. Land Rover says fuel economy is up at around 85 miles per gallon with CO2 emissions at just 89g/km putting it in Toyota Prius territory. The improved fuel efficiency means that it makes 690 miles on a full tank of fuel a distinct possibility.

Behind the wheel it is easy to forget you are driving a hybrid, the only notable difference is the lack of any engine noise when running purely on electric power. There are also new dials on the dashboard which indicate where the power is coming from. In fact, after five minutes behind the wheel, the Range Rover_e becomes the Range Rover Sport again with substantially less fuel to ferry you about.

Perhaps the best news of all is that Land Rover doesnt want its first hybrid to sully its off-roading reputation, therefore the model expected in 2013 will be a fully capable four-wheel-drive animal.

Quick facts:

Electric Range: 20 miles

CO2 emissions: 89g/km

Fuel Economy: 85mpg

Power: 339PS

USP: First fully capable 4WD plug-in hybrid diesel

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