Range Rover Sport gains a plug-in hybrid model

New P400e first step in Land Rover’s plan to offer hybrid versions of every car from 2020

The new  Range Rover Sport P400e is powered by a 300hp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine and a 116hp electric motor

The new Range Rover Sport P400e is powered by a 300hp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine and a 116hp electric motor

 

Land Rover has just announced details of its first plug-in hybrid model, the Range Rover Sport P400e. That badge is part of a new nomenclature for Jaguar Land Rover, with P meaning petrol and 400 the power output – actually the new car has 404hp.

That comes from a combination of a 300hp turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine, combined with a 116hp electric motor. The 13.1kWh lithium-ion battery stack which drives that motor has a recharging time of two-and-three-quarter hours, and can power the car on its own for as much as 51km. Land Rover claims that it returns 101mpg on the NEDC fuel test cycle (that’s likely to be rather lower on the new WLTP cycle) and has Co2 emissions of 64g/km, the lowest ever for a Range Rover product.

It’s also the first step in Land Rover’s recently-made promise to provide all-electric or hybrid versions of every car in its range from 2020 onwards, alongside conventional diesel and petrol models.

Design process

“When we started the design process with this new Range Rover Sport, it was important that we maintained its sporting prowess while evolving the exterior design. The addition of design-enabled technologies, such as our new infotainment system and the LED headlights demonstrate our drive towards ever greater desirability for the customer” said Gerry McGovern, chief design officer, Land Rover.

Those new LED headlights represent the second styling update for the Range Rover Sport in two years, a measure of how fast the market is currently moving when it comes to fashionable off-roaders.

McGovern’s mention of the infotainment system refers to the fact that the Sport now has the same double-decker In Control Touch Pro Duo touchscreen system as already seen (and highly praised) in the smaller Range Rover Velar. As one Land Rover employee put it to The Irish Times, “It would be a bit daft to have that tech in the smaller, cheaper car and not have it in the Sport.”

Another update includes the Activity Key, also already seen on the Velar and on the Jaguar F-Pace. This is a waterproof strap which allows the owner to lock keys and valuables in the car, and head off for some watery adventure or other, using the near-field radio tech of the strap to unlock the car when they return.

The P400e has the expected three driving modes – purely electric power, combined hybrid power, and a charging mode which tops up the battery from the engine and brakes as you drive. There’s also a Predictive Energy Optimisation system which uses data from the sat-nav to predict when you’re going to be going up and down steep slopes, and adjusts the power delivery to best suit the terrain.

Gesture control

Land Rover is also introducing gesture control to the Range Rover Sport – not for the radio volume, but for the roof blind, where a sweep of your hand in front of the rear view mirror causes the blind for the panoramic glass roof to extend or retract.

If you don’t fancy the extra environmental street-cred of the P400e Hybrid all that much, then Land Rover will be happy to offer you the also-updated Range Rover Sport SVR. This uses a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, which has seen its power increased to 570hp, compared to the 550hp of the outgoing model. That means a 0-100km/h time of just 4.5 seconds, and the SVR is said to be faster and more agile than previously was the case.

The existing 240hp four-cylinder diesel, V6 and V8 diesel models will also receive the same styling and infotainment upgrades. “The new Range Rover Sport strikes a compelling balance between dynamic capability, passenger comfort and efficiency. The introduction of our advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain is a watershed moment in the history of our performance SUV,” said Nick Collins, vehicle line director, Jaguar Land Rover.