While Land Rover may be a bit behind the competition in regards to hybrid products, it hopes to make waves with its plug-in hybrid slated for production in 2013. Last year, Land Rover officially announced that it would begin work on a plug-in diesel electric version of the Range Rover Sport. Now, Just-Auto is reporting that Land Rover is currently testing five prototypes, dubbed the range_e, throughout the UK. Initial reports point to some stellar efficiency numbers, implying that Land Rover has done its homework on this one.

A few of those numbers stand out. For starters, the company claims that the plug-in can be fully recharged in just 20 minutes via fast charging. The range_ e can also run on electric power alone for up to 20 miles at speeds approaching 70 miles per hour, and the hybrid also boasts the ability to reach a respectable top speed of 120 mph. The number that really caught our attention, though, is the claimed CO2 emission level of just 70 grams per kilometer. This is a remarkable amount for any vehicle, but even more so when you factor in the size and expected weight of this SUV. While Land Rover didn't officially confirm any of the numbers, Peter Richings, chief hybrid engineer at Jaguar-Land Rover, did indicate that there's some truth to the report by stating that the range_e:
Means you can drive a Range Rover for at least 20 miles on full electric power around town, (with) emissions of less than 100 g/km and speeds of up to 70 mph in EV mode.
If the reported numbers hold out to be true, Land Rover may be able to quickly make up for lost time in the hybrid segment, showing us that coming late to the party is not a problem, as long as you've got the goods to make up for it.
[Source: Just-Auto – sub. req. via Green Car Advisor]

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