Land Rover to unveil plug-in hybrid Range_e

The Range_e is a working prototype based on the smaller of Land Rover’s luxury models, the Range Rover Sport.

The Range_e is powered by a 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. However, it will also boast an electric motor capable of powering the car for up to 20 miles.

In hybrid mode, the five-door prototype is capable of 120mph and has an estimated range of 690 miles. Land Rover has also confirmed the model will be capable of four-wheel drive despite delivering road tax-free CO2 emissions of 99g/km.

Currently, only Peugeot has announced plans to introduce a diesel hybrid to its range of cars in the form of the 5008 HYbrid4 model set for UK release later in 2011.

A Land Rover model would be in direct competition with the 5008 HYbrid4 and would help Land Rover bring down its average CO2 emissions in keeping with EU regulations.

Land Rover has not confirmed if the Range_e will make it into production, but it is said to be working on ‘several prototypes’ at its UK-based design and engineering centre in the UK.

The manufacturer is expected to launch a new hybrid model in 2013 as part of Land Rover’s new product offensive, which could include hybrid powertrains for the Range Rover and Land Rover Discovery.

The Geneva Motor Show will be the setting for the first look at the Range_e plug-in diesel hybrid model, alongside several special edition Land Rover cars and the new lightweight, frugal Range Rover Evoque, the smallest and greenest Land Rover vehicle ever built.