Everybody’s going green. You see it everywhere. Just about every company is into saving the environment. So why not car manufacturers, too? In this case, SUVs.
World-renowned 4x4 specialist Land Rover has committed itself to building fuel and emissions-efficient vehicles to the delight of environment-conscious consumers everywhere. At the Geneva Motor Show 2011, Land Rover presented its Range-e Concept development model.
The Land Rover Range-e Concept combines 245HP 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine with a 93-horse electric motor powered by a 14.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Its 334 horsepower runs through a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. It is capable of 70 mpg, speed up to 120 mph, run up to 690 miles on a full tank, and travel up to 20 miles on electric power alone with zero tailpipe emissions.
Land Rover will continue the production models and will be made available after it launches its diesel-electric hybrid in 2013.
The Range-e concept is one of Land Rover projects supported by the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board. Five prototype models are being tested with Land Rover's fellow members of the Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators or CABLED.
In its presentation, John Edwards, Land Rover global brand director, had this to say: "This system is an evolution of the production intent diesel-electric hybrid technology which will be launched in our next generation of SUVs and will be available for customers within the next two years."
Land Rover’s Range-e concept for a plug-in hybrid diesel-electric powertrain was honored with the 2011 Award for Automotive Innovation by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The automotive industry considered the technology as the most significant achievement of the year in UK research and development for the global market. Range-e concept is the world’s first luxury 4-wheel drive powered by a plug-in hybrid system. The vehicle is based on the Range Rover Sport. The battery may be recharged simply by connecting the system to an external 240V outlet.
The award was presented at the SMMT annual dinner to Jaguar Land Rover by Norman Baker, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, and Global Engineering Director Rob Rickell of GKN, the sponsor for the award.
“Jaguar Land Rover has engineered and manufactured a highly efficient and technologically advanced prototype vehicle that clearly demonstrates industry’s commitment to lowering vehicle emissions and creating exciting products for demanding consumers,” says Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive and chair of the judging panel.
“This award champions industry innovation, promoting cutting-edge automotive engineering and design that the UK is famed for around the world.”
Peter Richings, Chief Engineer for Hybrids, accepting the award for Jaguar Land Rover, said, “Innovation and technology are the lifeblood of our business and we are delighted that our work has earned this recognition from our industry peers. Range-e demonstrates the advances we are making in cleaner and more fuel efficient performance without compromising the performance and all-wheel drive capabilities that are at the heart of our brand and we look forward to bringing its benefits to the market in the near future. The award for the Range-e project is testament to the range of skills, excellence and enthusiasm of not just our own engineers and designers, but the people in the research and academic organisations in the UK that have supported them."
Land Rover has now started the trend for luxury vehicles going green and looks to increase its efforts to save the environment. Hopefully, the other car manufacturers will follow suit soon enough.
Sandra Thomas is an adventurous woman, she loves going to the beach and driving 4x4s offroad, She's also a loving mother to her daughter, Andrea. She is also as passionate advocate of saving the planet. Follow her adventures on her Twitter.