Range Rover Sport P400e Big, plug-in, point­less?

In the mar­ket for a fast hy­brid SUV? The P400e is great. Oth­er­wise, prob­a­bly not. By Jake Groves

CAR (UK) - - Contents -

GO ELEC­TRI­FIED WITH your new Range Rover Sport and the only ver­sions that will show you a clean pair of heels are the su­per­charged V8s. That’s a pleas­ing bonus on top of some chilled si­lent driv­ing time and po­ten­tially im­proved econ­omy. Po­ten­tially, it should be noted.

The punchy end of the PHEV pow­er­train re­veals it­self with peaks of 398bhp and 478lb ft, and when the 2.0-litre petrol four revs out there’s a meaty growl – a wel­come change com­pared to the strained buzz from the same en­gine in the Evoque or Dis­cov­ery Sport. Dur­ing such ac­tiv­ity, the torque from the elec­tric mo­tor is smoothly mixed in to hurl you for­ward sur­pris­ingly quickly for a two-and-ahalf-tonne SUV.

When you want to be­have your­self, the sys­tem acts as a par­al­lel hy­brid

nd where the petrol en­gine and elec­tric mo­tor con­stantly work to­gether. Like most plug-ins, you can force the bat­tery to hold charge to save your stealthy drive time for when it’s more needed or en­gage EV mode via a but­ton on the cen­tre con­sole, with up to 31 miles of EV-only range claimed.

Like most plug-ins, you’ll have to work hard to gain any econ­omy ad­van­tage – our drive net­ted us re­al­life mpg sim­i­lar to the SDV6. That’s about 28-30mpg if you’re not pay­ing much at­ten­tion to the pow­er­train’s very par­tic­u­lar de­mands. Still, in­side the Sport is just how a Rangie should be: com­fort­able, well ap­pointed and with plenty of kit. The facelifted front is more hand­some, and the new Velar-style screens may be fid­dly to work but they keep the cabin look­ing con­tem­po­rary.

The only real give­aways about hy­brid mo­tor­ing are an EV mode but­ton on the cen­tre con­sole, the ‘My EV’ menu in the in­fo­tain­ment and a dif­fer­ent dig­i­tal dis­play to show the hy­brid pow­er­train at work.

The P400e is not the plug-in SUV that will con­vince you to go elec­tri­fied if you weren’t plan­ning to. But if you’re al­ready look­ing around for a big, fast PHEV it does pro­vide you with a hand­some, lux­u­ri­ous and very po­tent new op­tion.

Elec­tric­ity drain­ing like New Year’s Eve in Pic­cadilly Square: up­hill fast in a P400e

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