We knew a Range Rover Hybrid was coming, we just didn’t know when and where first.

As things turned out, Land Rover debuted of the Range Rover Hybrid Long Wheelbase at the Beijing motor show.

Land Rover stated the derivative brings together two of the most recent innovations in the Range Rover line-up in a vehicle that offers an unprecedented combination of luxury, interior space, exceptional fuel and emissions performance and no compromise in Land Rover’s breadth of capability.

Together with the Range Rover Sport Hybrid, it will be the first diesel hybrid model from any manufacturer to be offered in China, said Land Rzover. China is recognized by Land Rover as a potentially strong market for its new premium hybrids, while the long wheelbase design is identified as best suiting Chinese customers’ preferences for luxury and spaciousness.

Order books will open in May and first deliveries to customers in China are expected from the end of the year.

The production vehicles benefit from valuable insights Land Rover gained from its Silk Trail expedition in 2013 during which a fleet of Range Rover Hybrids proved their durability and all-terrain capability on a grueling 16,000 kilometers route from the Land Rover factory in Solihull, across central Asia to the Mumbai headquarters of Tata, Land Rover’s parent company.

After the journey, the vehicles were stripped down and scrutinized by Land Rover engineers to improve understanding of how the designs and technologies can be fine-tuned, said the company.

The Range Rover Hybrid powertrain combines Land Rover’s 3.0-liter SDV6 diesel engine with a 35 kilowatt electric motor and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. The system allows the driver to select from three different drive modes to maximize performance or efficiency, and is capable of delivering 26 per cent lower CO2 emissions (169g/km) and 6.4 l/100 kilometer (36.75 U.S. mpg).

According to Land Rover, installing the hybrid diesel-electric powertrain in the Range Rover Long Wheelbase has not compromised space, or the driving experience. The long wheelbase offers the benefits of an additional 186 mm of legroom for rear seat passengers and, with the option of the executive seating package, an impressive increase in the rear seat angle of recline to 17 degrees.

The hybrid system uses the same proven Terrain Response system and all-wheel drive technology deployed in the petrol and diesel-powered models. Wading depth capability is undiminished at a class-leading 900 mm.

The complete system, including a lithium ion battery pack, inverter and electric motor, weighs less than 120 kilograms (264.5 pounds).

In EV mode the Range Rover Hybrid can travel at speeds of up to 30 mph (48km/h) for a range of up to one mile before the diesel engine restarts.

Land Rover added the version to be marketed in China is technically identical to that to be sold elsewhere, except for a change to the exhaust system to take into account the different local emissions standards.