Land Rover is expected to introduce a new diesel hybrid powertrain for use on the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year, and while our report last week indicated that these models wouldn't be sold here, Edmunds is reporting otherwise.
When you pair up automakers like Jaguar, Land Rover and Ford, with hybrid powertrain developer Flybrid Systems, engineering consultants Prodrive and Ricardo and transmissions experts Torotrak and Xtrac, you'll either end up with a load of industry experts duking it out over some trivial aspect of a vehicle, or, as in this case, a collective group of like-minded people working at specialized companies that possess the ability to get 'er done.
We've known for some time now that Land Rover was planning on getting into the hybrid game, but it appears that things are shaking out a bit differently than we had initially expected. It seems the automaker may not use a kinetic-energy flywheel system or the high-tech Electric Rear Axle Drive that has been in the works for the last few years.
Land Rover is showing off its future green technology in the form of its Electric Rear Axle Drive. While this hybrid system has been included in concepts like the Concept Truck of the Year prize-winning LRX, the production version is still being designed and is undergoing testing fitted to some British Freelanders (that's the LR2 in the states). Landie got some government help in paying for this technology development and has hired on quite a number of extra staffers to be sure it gets it right.
At the 2006 Geneva Motor Show Land Rover displayed a platform concept for a hybrid drive system that they called Land_e. Later this year Land Rover will unveil a drivable prototype using the system shown on the Land_e. The Land_e was a four wheel drive off roader in the Land Rover tradition but the engine is equipped with a mild hybrid system similar to the BAS system used on the Saturn Vue/Aura.