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Range Rover hybrids to hit showrooms in August

Nothing’s shocking: Range Rover has been busy training its techs to handle the unusual requirements of its new hybrid pair.

After numerous delays, Range Rover’s hybrid pair will finally go on sale in August

Land Rover logo12 Apr 2015

By TIM ROBSON

AFTER a delay of more than six months, Jaguar Land Rover Australia finally has its Range Rover hybrid variants on the ground locally.

The Tata-owned car-maker confirmed in October last year that a pair of diesel-electric hybrid variants would be added to the range, following the debut of the Ranger Rover hybrid at the Frankfurt motor show a year earlier.

GoAuto understands that two Range Rover Sports have landed in Sydney, and are currently being used as training tools for sales staff and technicians ahead of a mid-year on-sale date.

Both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport HSE and Autobiography variants can be optioned with the hybrid powertrain, which is based on the 215kW 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel.

An electric motor arranged in parallel with the diesel adds 35kW and 175Nm, giving the hybrid a final power figure of 250kW and a torque value of 700Nm.

Land Rover claims a combined fuel consumption figure for the hybrid of 6.4 litres per 100km.

Pricing was set in October 2014 for the HSE Hybrid at $146,900, plus on-road costs – a $23,500 increase over the HSE SD 3.0-litre diesel – while the Autobiography Hybrid is $165,300, a hike of $24,700 on its non-hybrid equivalent.

JLR Australia general manager of communications and public relations Tim Krieger said timing for the hybrid-powered variants is “more than likely around the middle of the year”.

“The cars aren't far away. We've got to train the technicians, we have to train the dealers in stuff we haven’t done before. By mid-year, we should have cars on the fleet.”

JLR Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner told Go Auto that “a couple” of vehicles had already been ordered, including one in Darwin. He also believes that adding hybrids to the large SUV-based roster sends the right signals to perspective customers.

“We make some reasonably large SUVs that can sometimes be perceived as not being necessarily as environmentally friendly as they could be,” he said. “So it does send an important message that we do very much have an eye on always improving our emissions and bettering ourselves from an economical (consumption) perspective.”

The Range Rover Sport has been engineered from the ground up to incorporate a hybrid powertrain, which means that the vehicle can be used in the same way as a regular Range Rover.

Mr Wiesner said that it was important for JLR to be involved in hybrid technology, but pointed to the economy of the current line-up of diesels.

“From a technical development point of view, we need to make sure we can do these things and be involved with these things and get them to market,” he said. “Look at the drivetrains we’ve now got now got with TD and SD (diesel engines). In the MY15.5 model year stuff that’s coming, the SD will sneak below seven litres per 100 kilometres.

“Frankly, the majority of volume we sell, especially in Sport, are in SD and TDs, absolutely. So we're a damn sight more emissions friendly than we were five years ago to some degree.”

Mr Krieger also indicated that the hybrid system could be rolled out across other brands in the JLR group, including Jaguar.

“The technology is there, there's no reason why it wouldn't. At this stage there’s no firm timing in the product plan, nor any information about what model it would relate to. But the opportunity is there if we decide there’s a business case to do it.”

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