Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEVs) sales are on the increase – the market for alternatively fuelled vehicles rose by 27% in 2017, with a record 46,522 vehicles sold across the UK – the South West saw an impressive 140% increase in demand; is it any wonder that Range Rover felt that they were missing an important model from their line up?
Thankfully, they now have that covered – the Range Rover Sport P400e PHEV.
Range Rover, a name synonymous with quality, luxury and an ability to turn fuel into forward motion have finally entered the world of fuel-efficiency, where the term being green refers to the exhaust emissions rather than a weekend of green laning, but the plug-in hybrid tag doesn’t mean it’s lost the ability to do that – it is a Range Rover after all.
And nor has it lost any of the refinement that you’d expect from a Rangie, in fact the P400e possibly gets further benefit from the hybrid treatment, as its almost silent running ability further reinforces the defining qualities of luxury vehicles; the hushed cabin as you’re effortlessly going about your daily business, whilst saving the planet.
Unlike many hybrid vehicles that use a combustion engine to drive one axle, while the other is driven by electric, the P400e intelligently uses both systems to drive all four wheels, either on electric power only, petrol or a combination of both. No, the all-electric range won’t get you to Scotland, in fact Range Rover quote a figure of 31 miles on electric power only, but for many buyers, that 31 mile range will be ample enough to get them to work and back, and if you happen to live near a deserted runway, you’ll find speeds of up to 85 mph possible before the Ingenium four-cylinder 296 horsepower petrol engine takes over.
Charging time can be as little as under 3 hours, although with a regular three-pin plug socket, that time increases to around 7 hours for a full charge, and depending on your supplier (and all the usual small print), the cost to charge fully is around £2.38.
Thankfully, Range Rover haven’t just ‘borrowed’ a low-end system and dressed it up with Range Rover badges – this has been properly engineered to deliver the quality and performance that you’d expect – small details make the difference; think it won’t work off-road? The four-wheel powertrain works equally as well on unleaded or electric, you can even take it wading (on all-electric) if you wish – up to 900mm in depth (although it is recommended to leave the engine running, purely to avoid water ingress through the exhaust).
Equally, the Terrain Response system works exactly as you’d expect, again, it doesn’t matter what choice of powertrain – it just works, like every other Range Rover. Yes, Land Rover have created something of a technical marvel, but not at the expense of the Range Rover’ness (OK, that’s a made-up word); there is nothing here that would cause a regular owner any difficulty or concerns – this is the Sport two-point-oh.
The combined efforts of the 85kW electric motor and the Ingenium petrol engine are enough to give the P400e 398 horsepower, and an impressive 472 lb/ft of torque – more than V6 diesel and supercharged V8, all while offering just 64g/km of CO2 on the combined cycle. The factory figures for mpg claim 101, but let’s be honest, factory figures are set under laboratory conditions using a rolling road, with set loads, speeds, air temperatures – all of the things that effect fuel-economy.
Despite being a ‘full-size’ Range Rover (5 metres in length, 2.22 metres wide), acceleration is still brisk – managing to hit the 60 mph mark in just 6.4 seconds (and go on to 137 mph) – admittedly, talk of 0-60 times can be crass, but it’s good to know that this green Rangie hasn’t lost any of its performance thanks to the addition of the hybrid system.
For a long time now, Range Rover customers have deserved something that offers all of the luxury, style and ruggedness of a Range Rover, but without the need to tow around a separate fuel bowser or gold-plated credit card, and the P400e is exactly that.
Certainly, the engine isn’t quite as refined when making progress, the suspension has been altered to accommodate the extra weight, but after ten miles of driving the P400e, you won’t notice that, unless you drive it back-to-back with a traditional RR Sport.
Considering this is the first proper hybrid in the Range Rover line up, you’d have to say that it’s very much a winner.
Interested in finding out more? Why not contact one of our friendly professionals to discuss your needs.