Land Rover has continuously upgraded the current Range Rover over the years, and its electrics and mainstay powertrains will remain largely unchanged because they are modern. For example, the new electrical architecture of the current model, shared with Jaguar, includes TFT virtual instruments and the unique "dualview" screen that allows the driver and front passenger to view entirely different content on the same screen, depending on their viewing angle.
For North America, the 5.0-liter, direct-injection V-8 and its 500-plus-horsepower supercharged variant will remain. The ZF six-speed transmission will be ditched for an eight-speed with idle-stop. Combined with the reduced vehicle mass, this transmission should offer significant fuel savings.
Sustainability is becoming one of Range Rover's core values, so the company is testing several hybrid configurations. It already has a fleet of Range Rover Sport prototypes running diesel V-6s (the company's mainstay engine in Europe). These have an electric engine/generator incorporated in the transmission for full parallel hybrid drive. The system has a battery large enough to give plug-in capability, allowing about 20 miles of gentle urban running and cruising up to about 70 mph with the combustion engine switched off. The North American market is likely to get a gas V-6/electric hybrid, with the ZF eight-speed automatic, by 2013. This version is rumored to have a plug-in, electric-only range of 20 miles and a top speed of 120 mph.
The company is researching more radical range-extended EVs. It has built electrically driven Jaguar XJ prototypes with an elegantly simple lightweight 1.2-liter range extender engine designed by Lotus. Also, the company has recently started a U.K. government-funded program with Bladon Jets to incorporate an ultra-lightweight gas turbine as a range extender -- an engine that's very efficient when running at constant revs, as range extenders usually do.
The next Range Rover Sport will follow the 2013 Range Rover by a couple years. It will be based on the same aluminum body matrix, which is again a radical change because the current model is a relative of the LR4. The design of the next RRS will be curvier and have more obvious visual affinity with the Evoque.