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  • TheMotorist Team

Electric this, hybrid that – Meet the new Range Rover.

New Range Rover Goes Electric

Just weeks after the release of the 2018 Range Rover Sport, JLR have surprised us with another release, and this time it’s the oldest sibling in the family receiving the updates, the Range Rover.

With 50 years behind its belt, the Range Rover has continually developed and is know one of the most luxurious vehicles on the road. With the latest model, this is taken a step further with increased comfort, better technology and the introduction of a hybrid electric powertrain.

So whats changed? Well a newly designed cabin hosts a wide range of comfort adding features. In the front, for example, new seat frames allow 24 way movement, along with this comes added comfort thanks to the use of wider and deeper foam and the the introduction of heated armrests – for those that like sweaty palms.

Jumping into the back, one will notice an abundance of legroom, 1206 mm to be exact. The rear seats, also benefiting from wider and softer foam, recline by up to 40 degrees and can be heated or cooled, depending on your preference, while the arm, foot and calf rests can only be heated.

Connectivity isn’t an issue either, the new Range Rover has a total 17 connection points, including domestic plug sockets, USB, HDMI and 12-volt power. On top of this, the Range Rover features a G4 WI-FI hotspot which can connect with up to 8 devices.

The centre console is where the technological magic happens, the new Touch Pro Duo system features two high-definition 10” screens with the ability to swipe information between them for personal preference or ease of use. The system is dubbed “blade” and is JLR’s most advanced infotainment system yet, and the coolest we have seen!

This is not all on the technology front as the new Range Rover introduces Gesture Sunblind, which is operated by an advanced gesture control system. Air Cabin Ionisation is also available, this system used charged water particles to cleanse and purify the cabin air. My favorite piece of technology though has to be the Pixel-laser LED headlights, on full beam they provide lighting for a distance of 500m and intelligently blank sections of LEDs when oncoming traffic is detected as not to blind other drivers.

Range Rover P400e

First mentioned in our Range Rover Sport article, the P400e is a hybrid electric powertrain which makes use of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 221 kW, and an electric motor producing 85 kW.  This provides a total power output of 297 kW and  640 N.m of torque, delivered to wheels by a permanent four-wheel drive system.

Two driving modes are available with this powertrain. The first being a Parallel Hybrid mode, which makes use of both the petrol engine and electric motor to balance fuel economy and battery level-which will never drop past a predetermined level.

The second mode, dubbed EV Mode, enables pure electric and emission free driving with a maximum range of 51 km. This kind of mode is perfect for town driving, the school run and even bumper to bumper traffic.

As with everything electric, the Range Rover P400e will need to be charged. There are two options available here, the standard system goes from zero to full charge in 7 hours 30 minutes, but make use of a 30 amp Rapid Charging system and this time drops to an impressive 2 hours 45 minutes.

So how will this hybrid electric powertrain fair offroad? Well JLR have introduced the Terrain Response 2 system into the 2018 Range Rover. It has been designed to work in conjunction with electric power and can offer 100% of torque to all four wheels at zero rpm. We can imagine this capability will offer fantastic control in unusual and difficult terrain.

Range Rover SVAutobiography

For those not yet ready to give up V8 power, the SVAutobiography which was originally released in 2016 will also be an available variant. The Supercharged 5.0 V8 now benefits from an 11 kW power increase over the previous model, bringing the total power to 416 kW and allowing for a 0-100 km/h time of just 5.4 seconds. Not quite SVR level, but still very fast.

The SVAutobiography will also benefit from some slight visual adjustments, mainly in two areas. The first being a new exclusive Graphite Atlas mesh grille, and the second being a redesigned bumper featuring integrated chrome tailpipes. We imagine these features will help the SVautobiography stand out amongst the other variants, but we are pretty sure the sweet sounds from the 5.0 V8 would manage that task just fine.

We are yet to know pricing and availability in South Africa, so stay tuned!

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