Jaguar Land Rover wants hybrid tech partner

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For Jaguar Land Rover, a dual-energy-source powertain requires a two-company investment. Word is, JLR is looking for a partner to develop a cleaner, better hybrid powertrain. The vehicle maker, long known for its SUVs and really heavy cars, is in discussions with other automakers about joining up on a hybrid collaboration, Automotive News says, citing Wolfgang Epple, the company's head of research and technology.

Of course, Epple didn't say who Jaguar Land Rover was talking to, but the executive does have prior experience developing electrified powertrains for General Motors, BMW and Chrysler, so read into that as you may. Jaguar Land Rover needs to get busy, since it is charged with reducing fleetwide emissions by about 20 percent just to meet the European Commission's 2015 emissions mandate in the near term, and the broader mandate only gets stricter towards the end of the decade.

Jaguar Land Rover is slated to debut its first production hybrid next year with the Range Rover Hybrid. That model, unveiled last month at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, pairs a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine with a 47-horsepower electric motor, providing 355 horsepower and an official fuel economy rating of about 37 miles per gallon. Having recently road-tested the model on a grueling 10,000-mile Silk Road voyage from London to Mumbai, the company says that hybrid cuts emissions by 26 percent, compared to the conventional Range Rover. Too bad it won't be available in the US.

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