Range Rover Sport hybrid up for top award

The Range_e, a luxury Range Rover Sport converted to include a diesel-hybrid engine setup, is one of six nominations for the Award for Automotive Innovation 2011.

Designed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) the awards are aimed at technology that could ‘transform’ the automotive industry.

The Range_e is due to be launched in the UK in 2013 and when it does it will become the greenest Land Rover ever built.

The technology will also open the way for a plug-in hybrid by 2015, which will mean the Range_e can be driven for short distances on purely electric energy – the first time a Land Rover vehicle will be able to do so.

The UK-based car maker is currently testing the Range Rover Sport based Range_e before production versions are produced.

In the meantime, it will be judged alongside five other entries by what has been described as a ‘Dragon’s Den-style’ panel of industry leaders to determine the winner.

The Range_e is the only car nominated for the award. It will compete against a fuel cell scooter from Suzuki, a hybrid drive system and an electric charging station amongst others in the competition.

SMMT Chief Executive, Paul Everitt. “I am delighted that UK automotive has again demonstrated it is world-class in the fields of product development and design and I look forward to judging the winner of this year’s Award.”

Last year’s winner was Gordon Murray’s new production technique for a range of new small electric city cars.