A new, green diesel-electric hybrid Range Rover has taken to the road - China’s Silk Road.
The Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid will be released in the UK on September 10 from about £100 000 (R1.68 million), although customers will have to wait until early next year for delivery.
Land Rover describes the silky 4x4 as ‘the world’s first premium diesel sport utility hybrid’.
It combines Land Rover’s three-litre SDV6 turbodiesel engine with a 35kW electric motor linked and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission; together they deliver 250kW, good enough for 0-100km/h in less than seven seconds, and a top speed of 215km/h.
Emissions of C02 are slashed by 26 percent to 169g/km, with average fuel consumption for the 2.3-tonne off-roader quoted at 6.44 litres per 100km.
Three prototypes are tackling a marathon, 53-day, 16 000KM overland endurance drive from Land Rover’s headquarters in Solihull, near Birmingham, through 12 countries - including China - then back to parent company Tata’s home in Mumbai, India, to arrive on October 15. So far 3000km have been completed.
The route includes part of the ancient 6400km Silk Road which, from 206BC until the late 14th century, connected Asia with the Mediterranean.
Expedition leader Dougie Dale said before the start: “As we head towards Eastern Europe and beyond, we expect the terrain to toughen and we will need the Range Rovers’ off-road ability.”
Land Rover global brand director John Edwards described the route as: “A stunning combination of mountain passes, arid desert, high altitude, chaotic city streets, heat, humidity and wilderness - the perfect testing ground for our first hybrid.”
Provided all goes well, the company’s development engineers will sign the models off and production will begin in earnest. - Daily Mail