Land Rover is launching an all-new Range Rover and confirmed a diesel-hybrid version as part of the lineup.
This will mark the fourth generation of the iconic Range Rover line and Land Rover says it is “the world’s most refined and capable SUV.” This will also mark the first time a hybrid version is offered, and it’s a diesel at that.
Also new is that this will be the world’s first SUV with a lightweight all-aluminum body. Choosing this material over steel is the main reason engineers were able to save 420 kg (925 pounds) when compared to the outgoing model. Combined with weight savings throughout the chassis and driveline, the lightweight structure itself contributes to a model-for-model weight saving of up to 350 kg (771 pounds) compared to the outgoing vehicle.
Sales are scheduled to start late 2012, with the hybrid SUV available in Europe later in 2013. Don’t expect to see this version in North America just yet; the Range Rover will need to be modified to meet the European 2015 emission rules and it is that modified version we should see on our shores.
This new Range Rover has been designed and engineered at Land Rover’s development centers in the UK. Production will be in a new low-energy manufacturing facility in Solihull, UK.
Europeans customers will also have a choice of a supercharged gas V8 and two diesel, a 3.0-liter V6 and a 4.4-liter V8. A ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is now available.
The weight saving helps the V8 Supercharged model to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 5.1 seconds, a reduction of 0.8 seconds over the outgoing model. At the same time, fuel consumption is cut by 9 percent.
Land Rover says the small diesel engine achieves figures of 37.7 mpg (7.5 l / 100 km), so we can expect the hybrid diesel version to improve on this. Land Rover targets a CO2 rating of 169 g/km.
The hybrid version is said to use the electric portion of its drivetrain like a supercharger under hard acceleration, which could provide lively performances.