In close association with sister company Jaguar, Land Rover has been working a hybrid system to improve the brand’s eco-conscious image. Land Rover has recently declared that they are going for a new Range Rover Sports Hybrid. They are taking care of the carbon emissions. According to them this car will emit just 100g/km of CO2 and will have an all-electric range of 20 miles. If it can be achieved, the low CO2 figure will be a noteworthy breakthrough for the luxury brand. This low carbon emission will put the Range Rover Sport’s carbon emissions in an equal category with those of smaller, lighter vehicles like the Citroën C1 and Ford Focus Econetic which emits 148g/km of CO2. Land Rover is planning to launch five prototypes of the vehicle next year ahead of a 2012 sales launch.
The Range Rover Sport Hybrid will operate on a 3.0-liter V6 engine, which will work in tandem with a 25KW electric motor. Land Rover often comes up with a number of different hybrid propulsion systems. They try to be different from what is available in the market. But this Range Rover Sport Hybrid will be somewhat similar to Toyota’s Prius. You can drive this hybrid Range Rover on an all-electric mode basis as well. Land Rover is still playing safe as far as the storage system is concerned. Their first-generation hybrid vehicle will utilize traditional storage systems. They are not opting out for the ultra-capacitors that the company has been testing. Ultra-capacitors are known for delivering high voltages but low currents. The technology is said to be compatible with the needs of the Land Rover because the short, sharp energy boost that capacitors can deliver is well suited to off-road driving.
Range Rover Sport Hybrid people are unwilling to go for the advanced ERAD (electric rear axle drive) design. This design was showcased last year in the Freelander. Land Rover has preferred a more conventional hybrid set-up. ERAD prototypes incorporate a small 35-kW electric motor fitted into the rear axle. ERAD’s motor has the capability to directly power the rear axle. With the help of a Haldex differential and a propeller shaft, it could also drive all four wheels without the use of the turbo-diesel power plant.
According to Kevin Stride, Jaguar’s chief engineer, the British marque that is owned by the TATAs of India too are developing a plug-in hybrid system that will get its primary power from an electric motor, with a small traditional petrol engine functioning as a backup.