Have you been waiting for the marriage of Land Rover off-road prowess with the efficiency of a plug-in hybrid? If so, get a hobby, but now that you’re here, that dream is now a reality. The storied British brand is adding the gas-electric plug-in hybrid Range Rover Evoque P300e and Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e to its lineup. Both are available with all-wheel drive and can drive along on electric power alone.
But these latest variants are forbidden fruit on our side of the ocean, and will stay that way. The new Range Rover Evoque P300e PHEV and Land Rover Discovery Sport P300e PHEV are available to order now in Europe but there are no plans to sell them in North America, a U.S. spokesman confirms. That’s too bad, because they’re delightfully oddball—well, off-beat—in their execution, at least compared to the 48-volt mild-hybrid (MHEV) SUVs which is what we have in America. Discovery Sport P290 and Evoque P300 model variants are available with the MHEV powertrain in the U.S.
The heart of the propulsion system is a 1.5-liter three-cylinder gas engine from Jaguar Land Rover’s Ingenium family, which combines with an 80-kW electric motor on the rear axle for all-wheel-drive capability. The motor is powered by a 15-kWh lithium-ion battery located below the rear seats. Total system power is 305 horsepower and 372 lb-ft of torque, compared to the 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque we get in the U.S.-market 48-volt mild-hybrid versions of these SUVs (which also use a bigger 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine). Unlike those MHEVs, the plug-in Evoque can travel up to 41 miles in electric-only mode and the Discovery Sport can go 38 miles. Like most plug-ins, the extra battery power will spend most of its time augmenting the gas engine. Power is distributed via a new eight-speed automatic transmission that is lighter than the nine-speed used in other models.
The Evoque has a claimed acceleration from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, and the Discovery Sport makes the scoot in 6.2 seconds, the automaker says. Both can reach speeds of up to 84 mph using electric power alone. There are three charging modes. The default mode is hybrid which automatically combines power from the gas engine and electric motor as needed for the driving conditions. EV is electric only and Save shifts the burden to the gas engine to save the battery state of charge. Rapid charging brings the battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes.
“Designed, engineered and manufactured in-house, the modular, scaleable and flexible architecture of our Ingenium family has allowed us to create a pioneering, three-cylinder plug-in hybrid system, giving our customers more choice than ever before,” says Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover executive director of product engineering, in a release. Of course that choice doesn’t extend to American customers, but at least the Evoque and Disco Sport versions they do get come with Land Rover’s signature off-road capability. That same skillset is built into the plug-ins, too, thanks to Land Rover’s Premium Transverse architecture, which was designed to support electrification and off-roading alike. Should you want a Land Rover plug-in hybrid in the U.S., you’ll need to step up to the much pricier Range Rover Sport P400e PHEV or Range Rover P400e PHEV.
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