Cotswold Life

Elec­tric dreams

The Range Rover plug-in hy­brid brings si­lent elec­tric mo­tor­ing to this iconic lux­ury car

- WORDS: Clean Tech · Cars · Consumer Goods · Ecology · Land Rover Range Rover · Rover · New York City · Rover · Edwards · Cotswolds · Financial Times

At just un­der two litres, the four­cylin­der petrol en­gine in the PHEV is the small­est ever fit­ted to a Range Rover. Don’t let that de­ceive you, though, be­cause it’s paired with a pow­er­ful elec­tric mo­tor to give a to­tal of 404PS.

This be­ing a Range Rover, the power is fed to all four wheels, while the ground clear­ance and wad­ing depth are iden­ti­cal to the petrol and diesel ver­sions, which means that it’s still ev­ery bit as good off-road.

In elec­tric only mode, the PHEV glides around in the sort of hushed re­fine­ment that not even the stan­dard Range Rover can match. The elec­tric mo­tor’s plen­ti­ful torque also means that the per­for­mance feels quite brisk.

Put your foot down in the other modes and the com­bined shove from the petrol en­gine and the elec­tric mo­tor feels ev­ery bit as strong as the fig­ures would sug­gest. By any nor­mal stan­dards it’s an im­pres­sively re­fined pack­age too, although the four-cylin­der en­gine can’t match the creami­ness of its V6 and V8 coun­ter­parts.

As with any plug-in hy­brid, the real-world fuel econ­omy fig­ures will de­pend heav­ily on how much time you can drive on elec­tric­ity alone. Around town, it’s pos­si­ble that you could get 80+mpg. Driven en­thu­si­as­ti­cally on coun­try roads, how­ever, our mpg was down to the low 20s. An­other fac­tor to bear in mind is that the ex­tra weight of the PHEV has led to a slightly firmer sus­pen­sion set up. It’s still a fan­tas­ti­cally re­laxed way to travel, but the ride is not quite as silky as that on the stan­dard models.

Price: from £89,385 (stan­dard wheel­base)

En­gine: 1,997cc, 404PS, four-cylin­der petrol plug-in hy­brid with 8-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion

Per­for­mance: 0 to 62mph in 6.4 sec­onds; top speed 137mph

Elec­tric range: 25 miles (claimed)

Fuel econ­omy: up to 83.2 mpg (WLTP rat­ing)

CO2 emis­sions: 77g/km

The PHEV is just like any other Range Rover in­side, with the same sub­lime mix­ture of cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy and tra­di­tional crafts­man­ship. There’s acres of room in the stan­dard model, but for the ul­ti­mate in limou­sine-like com­fort you can even spec­ify a long wheel­base ver­sion (start­ing at £115,960).

The next gen­er­a­tion Range Rover is ex­pected to come with a ful­ly­elec­tric op­tion when it ar­rives in 2022. For now, though, this is as close as you can get. Around town, the PHEV is per­haps the best Range Rover of all. Like­wise, its low CO2 rat­ing will be a sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit to com­pany car drivers. Else­where, the stan­dard petrol and diesel models are ar­guably even bet­ter.

CAN­DIA MCK­O­R­MACK joined Cotswold Life 17 years ago as de­signer and is now deputy ed­i­tor. She lives with hus­band Tony, two chil­dren, a bearded dragon, and Bagheera the cat.

Once New York correspond­ent for The Times, ADAM ED­WARDS is now based in the Cotswolds and writes for the Daily Tele­graph and the Fi­nan­cial Times.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK