Land Rover puts back hybrid plans

Speaking to the magazine, Land Rover’s global brand director John Edwards said: ""Our approach to Evoque is more viable for the company and customers because hybrid technology on a relatively small car would load the price and add weight."

The Range Rover Evoque is Land Rover’s lightest ever vehicle, weighing in at just 1600kg. The reduced weight allows CO2 emissions to be brought down to 130g/km.

However, adding a hybrid powertrain, as seen on the LRX concept the SUV is based on, would add a relatively heavy battery pack to the model, pushing the weight up.

This could even result in fuel economy falling in any hybrid model, and has caused Land Rover to rule out the possibility in future.

However, the hybrid technology will be investigated for some of the larger Land Rover models, such as the Defender or Discovery.

One model which has been confirmed in the Range Rover Evoque range is the five-door version, which will go on sale alongside with three-door model when both are launched in 2011.

The smallest Range Rover ever built will also be offered in two-wheel drive as Land Rover targets people living in cities.

It will not be the first two-wheel drive Land Rover ever made, however. That honour goes to a two-wheel drive version of the Freelander 2, which will arrive early in 2011.

The Freelander 2 two-wheel drive model is expected to take advantage of rising sales for the brand, and the best-selling model was an obvious choice to incorporate the new system.

Land Rover builds all of its models in the UK, and the introduction of the Evoque next year has led to over 1,000 jobs being created in UK factories.