Big as they are with all their differentials and transfer cases, SUVs are arguably better suited towards hybrid propulsion than most vehicles. But one of the biggest names in the business has yet to go down that route. That is, until now.

Land Rover has announced that it'll be launching its first hybrid at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, where it will unveil not one but two production models powered by the same gasoline-electric powertrain. The system pairs a 47-horsepower electric motor with a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel to churn out a combined 335 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels.

The added lithium-ion battery, inverter and electric motor – which is integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission – add 265 lbs to the curb weight, but help the Range Rover Hybrid reach 62 miles per hour from a standstill in 6.9 seconds and the Range Rover Sport Hybrid in 6.7, cruising to a top speed of 135 and 145 miles per hour, respectively. Both models are set to hit overseas markets early next year, but we're still waiting for word on US availability.

While Land Rover prepares the pair for its Frankfurt debut, it is sending three of them on a transcontinental road trip along the "Silk Trail" from the factory in Solihull, England, to its parent company Tata's headquarters in Mumbai, India. The trip kicks off tomorrow and is expected to take until October 15 after crossing 10,000 miles through 12 different countries.
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Land Rover Launches It's First Hybrid Range Rover Models

- World's first premium diesel SUV hybrids introduced by Land Rover
- Hybrid powertrain for Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models
- Outstanding performance with 340PS and class-leading 700Nm torque
- 26 percent lower CO2 emissions (169g/km) and 44.1mpg (combined)
- Uncompromised cabin comfort and load space, with enhanced refinement
- Hybrid capability to be demonstrated on 16,000km Silk Trail expedition to India
- On sale from September 10, with first deliveries in early 2014

Land Rover is launching its first-ever hybrid models - the Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid - which will deliver outstanding fuel economy, significantly lower CO2 emissions and retain Land Rover's renowned capability and performance.

Available to order in Europe from September 10 with first deliveries in early 2014, the two all-aluminium models are based on Land Rover's Premium Lightweight Architecture and share an identical powertrain. They are the world's first premium diesel SUV hybrids.

"We are extremely excited to introduce the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Hybrids, the world's first hybrid SUVs with legendary Land Rover capability. The addition of a smooth electric drive enhances refinement, cuts CO2 emissions and delivers staggering performance on a par with our SDV8 engine," said John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director.

To demonstrate the capabilities of the new hybrids, three Range Rover Hybrids will embark tomorrow (Thursday, August 22) on an epic trip, from the home of the Range Rover brand in Solihull to the home of the parent company Tata, in Mumbai, India.

This 'Silk Trail 2013' 16,000km expedition visits 12 countries and takes in some of the world's most challenging roads, passes and trails, including part of the ancient, 4,000 mile Silk Road connecting Asia with the Mediterranean. These are the first hybrids to ever attempt this challenging route.

The new Range Rover Hybrid powertrain features three driver-selectable modes and combines Land Rover's popular 3-litre SDV6 diesel engine with a 35kW electric motor integrated with the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The hybrid system, including lithium ion battery pack, inverter and electric motor weighs less than 120kg.

The electric motor produces 170Nm torque to boost acceleration and drives the vehicle in EV Mode. The motor also acts as a generator, harvesting kinetic energy through regenerative braking, charging the battery when the vehicle is slowing. In driver-selectable EV mode the Range Rover Hybrid can travel at speeds of up to 30mph (48km/h) for a range of up to one mile (1.6km) before the diesel engine seamlessly restarts.

Together, output of the diesel engine and electric motor is 340PS at 4,000rpm and a class-leading 700Nm torque between 1,500-3,000rpm, resulting in stunning SDV8-style performance. Both models accelerate to 62mph (100km/h) in under seven seconds, deliver strong transient and mid-range performance with a top speed of 135mph (218km/h), combined with a 26 percent reduction in CO2 emissions to 169g/km, equivalent to 44.1mpg on the combined cycle.

The latest generation Range Rover models have all been designed with the integration of a hybrid system in mind. Consequently, the liquid cooled,battery pack is mounted beneath the floor of the vehicle in a protective boron-steel cradle without impacting on the cabin or luggage space. The Range Rover Hybrid has the same five-seat capacity and luggage space as the standard vehicle and retains the full-size spare wheel. This no-compromise philosophy is echoed in the Range Rover Sport Hybrid whose interior is unchanged from the standard model, right down to the 5+2 seating.

Both hybrid Range Rover models continue to deliver a class-leading breadth of capability and versatility, enhanced by the exceptionally linear torque delivery from the powertrain and retaining Land Rover's peerless four-wheel drive system including Terrain Response® 2, with uncompromised wading and ground clearance.

The 'Silk Trail 2013' expedition featuring the new Range Rover Hybrids is scheduled to visit France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and India. The expedition will be broken into 10 separate legs, with the Range Rover Hybrid vehiclesdriven by teams of Land Rover development engineers and invited media - arriving in Mumbai on October 15.

Range Rover Hybrid Specifications

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      are there even plans for their regular diesels to ship to US
      • 1 Year Ago
        • 1 Year Ago
        The one above is fitted with a winch too. They are driving from 10,000 miles through 12 different countries. So I guess they need that equipment. It does say in the article.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ SprinterMatt Lucas Electrics no longer exists ! Lucas Electrics of Birmingham, was an old highly respected pioneering automotive company, that included Bendix and Girling brakes and shock absorbers. Many reasons contributed to Lucas decline, including union disputes, a virtual UK monopoly, created by over-protection, Government interference, and a refusal by the unions to allow quality control inspection. By the 1950's the UK Automotive unions were actively pursuing a policy to force the nationalization (state ownership) of British Industry in an effort to create a Soviet style socialist state. Lucas Electric products became synonymous with the decay of British Industry. By the 1980's the 'Thatcher revolution' left Lucas ill-prepared for the reality of modern production and despite still having some valuable products, the Lucas group of companies was basically a ramshackle organization, unable (and unwilling) to compete with European and Asian competitors. Lucas, along with British Leyland, are perhaps the most obvious symptoms of what went wrong with post war British manufacturing. Jaguar, Range Rover etc, no longer have Lucas electrical components, and haven't for many years, but the old reputation still lives on...
          • 1 Year Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      So behind the curve.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very gratifying to see Spen King's design to catch up with Lexus and start to produce hybrid versions. Although, like Spen King, I dislike all SUV's that are purchased a 'fashion status symbols' and never leave suburban streets, I drive a fully electric Range Rover produced by Liberty Electric Cars. Why anyone needs, or can find a place to legally drive at 145 miles per hour in a 4WD Range Rover, also baffles me. However, as a show case for EV technology to the dwindling number of those who doubt the viability of EV technology, the Range Rover Hybrid, like Porsche, should provide evidence that the evolution of EV technology is an inevitable step in automotive progress. Good luck driving to India.
      • 1 Year Ago