Thanks to the 2013 Range Rover's huge weight loss, the new flagship SUV boasts significantly increased fuel economy but for those who aren't impressed, the company presents the Range Rover diesel hybrid. That's right, Land Rover has revealed more details on its Range Rover diesel hybrid. Although there aren't currently any plans to import it to the U.S., at the launch event in London, company officials left open the future possibility that we might see the SUV in American showrooms.
Far from a last-minute add on, Land Rover says its first ever hybrid system was developed from the outset to optimize its efficiency and make sure it is as capable off-road as the rest of the new Range Rover lineup.
2013 Land Rover Range Rover rear end1 300x187 imageThe parallel hybrid system combines a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine and an electric motor integrated into the vehicle's ZF-sourced 8-speed transmission housing in a package that Land Rover says achieves a maximum fuel efficiency of 45 mpg in the UK cycle (about 37 U.S. mpg), an impressive number aided by the dramatic, 700 pound weight reduction of the new vehicle. (The hybrid does tack on an unspecified amount of additional weight.) Like other parallel hybrids, the Range Rover hybrid can be propelled for a short distance on electric power only and gathers braking and other regen energy to be used when the driver demands it. Officials were also quick to point out that the electric motor can act as supercharger of sorts under hard acceleration, augmenting the diesel's power. The setup is rated at roughly 333 horsepower with its 0-to-60 mph sprint estimated at approximately 7.0 seconds. For comparison, the 2013 Range Rover with the 5.0-liter V-8 is estimated at 6.5 seconds while the supercharged V-8 model is good for a 5.1-second sprint.
The rest of the Range Rover hybrid's componentry, including the lithium-ion battery pack, has been packaged under the vehicle's floor. As the system was thought out from the beginning, engineers were reportedly able to keep both the overall dynamic balance and the Range Rover's off-road capability on par with the non-hybrid vehicles. Components have been protected by boron steel plates under the vehicle just in case anyone decides to put the vehicle's new Terrain Response 2 system to the test and inadvertently smashes up the floor pan during extreme off-road action.
2013 Land Rover Range Rover center console1 300x187 imageSo why isn't it coming here? It's mainly due to the usual issues with diesel emissions. While the engine meets EU5 standards, that's not good enough for the U.S. market. Land Rover says the engine will meet Europe's coming stricter EU6 standards coming in 2015 after it makes some substantial revisions. After they do, it should be good enough to pass muster here as well. There's also a chance that the system could be used in conjunction with a version of Jaguar Land Rover's new 3.0-liter gas powered six.
As is usually the case with future product plans, Land Rover wouldn't directly comment on a potential U.S. market rollout of the Range Rover hybrid, but Land Rover's program chief Nick Rogers did say "there are clearly opportunities moving forward." Translation: we wouldn't rule out the Range Rover diesel hybrid from coming here in some form within the next three years.
The non-hybrid 2013 Range Rover is shown.