2018 Range Rover P400e PHEV first drive: Still the world's best SUV

In 2017, nearly 80 percent of all Range Rover sales in the UK were diesel, but since Volkswagen delivered what is arguably the biggest story of calamity, corruption and human scandal in its eight-decade history - we know you know, but let’s remind ourselves that the defeat device fitted to dupe emissions tests affected 11m diesel-powered vehicles - this power source is now about as welcome as a limp handshake. Range Rover needs to pivot on its fuel source, and fast.

2018 Range Rover P400e
2018 Range Rover P400e

First impressions

Introducing the Range Rover P400e: P stands for Plug-in Hybrid, developing 400PS or 398bhp in our language, and badged ‘e’ because it is electrified. Albeit not fully. The Jaguar I-Pace may be another family member running with abandon towards the brave new tomorrow of electrification, but Range Rover is determined to take things a little more cautiously.

Still, that instantly recognisable silhouette disguises a significant overhaul underneath. In an engine bay that usually accommodates a 3.0-litre TDV6 or 5.0-litre supercharged V8 now lives a longitudinally-mounted 2.0-litre petrol engine. A turbocharged four-cylinder may sound far too feeble to support a car this gargantuan, but it’s the same 296bhp unit that powers both the entry-level Jaguar F-Type and range-topping E-Pace. When coupled to an 85kW electric motor and 13.1kWh battery pack, the P400e develops 398bhp and 472lb ft of torque.

2018 Range Rover P400e
2018 Range Rover P400e
2018 Range Rover P400e

The hybrid powerplant also helps squash average CO2 emissions to a Toyota Prius-rivalling 64g/km o...