Land Rover’s extensively updated Range Rover Sport has made its presence known in the LA motor Show, followed by the reveal at a private London Design Museum event, in October.
The 2018 Sport gets significant design changes, new powertrains and major interior updates to rival the likes of competition, including the new Porsche Cayenne. The highlights of the mid-life facelift, ahead of an all-new model arriving in 2020 are a hot SVR variant and a plug-in hybrid electric model.
The flagship of the Land Rover line-up that the company describes as “the ultimate performance SUV” is powered by a 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine producing 575hp; 25hp more than the outgoing SVR and 700Nm of peak torque.
The new SVR is 0.2sec faster than its predecessor for 0-100kph at 4.5sec. Land Rover officials said that its body this time has extensive integration of carbon-fibre than before that help to enhance its agility than before.
Though the SVR remains the most exciting wheel in Land Rover’s line-up by the virtue of driving dynamics, it’s the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid – Codename: P400e – has made big news this time, addressing previous criticisms of poor fuel economy and emissions from Range Rover Sport.
It is also the first electric model revealed by the carmaker after the announcement made by Ralph Speth about JLR to have an electric avatar for every model by 2020. Under the hood, the P400e will get a 300hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol mill combined with an electric motor producing 115hp. The combined power output is 404hp and the model takes a 0-100kph stint in 6.7sec and has a top speed of 220kph.
The P400e offers two driving modes: the Parallel hybrid mode and EV mode. The first combines petrol and electric drive and allows the driver to optimise battery charge or fuel economy. In this mode, a save function prevents the battery charge from dropping below the selected level and the ‘Predictive Energy Optimisation’ function requires you to enter a destination into the navigation. This system is frequently used in many of the plug-in hybrids such as the BMW 330e. It uses GPS altitude data to optimise the switch between electric motor and petrol engine, maximising fuel economy over different gradients.
The combined fuel economy of the P400e is 43kpl. The electric motor can alone take the car to 50km. By comparison, the V6 diesel Range Rover Sport, the predicted biggest seller, delivers 17.2kpl.
In a statement made, Land Rover said the plug-in hybrid implies that “customers can experience zero-emission near-silent off-road luxury with uncompromised all-terrain capability” for the first time, while also having free access to most congestion charging zones.
The 13.1 KWh lithium-ion battery is positioned beneath the boot floor reducing the boot space from 780 litres to 703 litres. The charging socket is placed behind the Land Rover badge on the right of the front grille.
According to Land Rover’s statement, a full charge will take just 2hrs 45min via a special home wall box. However, via standard plug-in points, it will take 7hrs 30min.
Other than the SVR and P400e, also on display was a full range of petrol and diesel powertrains, including Ingenium four-cylinder, V6 and V8 units.
Among the changes made in the exterior, a refreshed grille and new LED headlights are most apparent. Interior alterations are identical to the newly introduced Velar. The updates include the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, which features two 10.0-inch touchscreens, up to 12 power points and an active key, allowing owners to lock and unlock the vehicle without a key fob.