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Geneva show: Rangie Sport turns green with ‘Range_e’

Carbon fighter: Combining a V6 turbo-diesel and eight-speed auto with an electric motor, the ‘Range_e’ development vehicle has a low carbon footprint and a driving range of more than 1100km.

Plug-in diesel hybrid Range Rover is capable of lowering CO2 emissions to 89g/km

Land Rover logo18 Feb 2011

By TERRY MARTIN

DEMONSTRATING its commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of its SUVs, Land Rover has issued the first images and fresh details of a new plug-in diesel hybrid version of its Range Rover Sport that is capable of emitting just 89 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

To be unveiled at the Geneva motor show on March 1, the ‘Electric Range_e’ prototype is part of the Tata Motors-owned British 4WD manufacturer’s program to bring a diesel-electric hybrid model to market in Europe in 2012/13.

As GoAuto reported in July last year, Land Rover began testing the Range_e – its first-ever diesel hybrid development vehicle – late last year and plans to make it available to selected customers in 2012.

It combines Land Rover’s 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine with a circa-25kW electric motor, driving all four wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

Land Rover has this week confirmed that it has met the engineering targets set down last year for the hybrid Range Rover Sport, including a 20-mile (32km) range using electric power only, CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km (now confirmed at 89g/km) and a maximum speed of 120mph (193km/h).

24 center imageTop: Range Rover_e. Bottom: Range Rover Evoque.

The company also says that its maximum driving range is an impressive 690 miles, equivalent to 1110km.

The Range_e is said to be one of several working prototypes currently being developed at Land Rover’s design and engineering centre in the UK.

Overseas reports also indicate that other hybrid powertrains are also in development, with the all-new Evoque compact SUV – set to be launched in Australia in conventional form later this year – set to gain a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain by 2015.

The Evoque will be shown at Geneva with new customer personalisation options, while black-and-white-themed ‘Landmark Editions’ of the 2011 Discovery 4 will also make their debut.

Among the options to be available on the Evoque include designer exterior packs, contrasting colours on the roof and spoiler, interior upgrades and higher levels of technology.

Rather than use traditional model trim grades, Land Rover will also offer three ‘design themes’ to split the series, ranging from ‘Pure’ to ‘Prestige’ and ‘Dynamic’.

Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern said: “Customers like to make their own unique statement with a vehicle and we have provided individuals with lots of opportunity to personalise their new Range Rover Evoque, whilst maintaining the essence of the design.” As previously reported, Land Rover will also show off its new Range Rover Autobiography Ultimate Edition, a limited-edition model billed as the most luxurious ever from the iconic off-road brand and the first in the world to be fitted with rear cabin iPads.

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GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.