The new Land Rover Range Rover made its debut recently with an evolutionary design, powerful engines, and comfort to spare. The super-luxury SUV will be launched in the United Kingdom with eight powertrains in spring 2022, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain will join the range in 2023. About a year later, Land Rover will also introduce the first-ever electric Range Rover and it could be hiding a little secret.
Land Rover’s flagship model is based on the new MLA platform, which allows for different sorts of electrification. In a recent interview with Autocar, Land Rover programme director Nick Miller confirmed the architecture can also accommodate a hydrogen powertrain, hinting at a potential new EV derivative in the Range Rover lineup. Little is known about the project so far, but Miller admitted to the British publication hydrogen will be “complementary” to battery-electric powertrains as Land Rover wants to go carbon-neutral by 2036.
Gallery: Land Rover Range Rover (2022)
Land Rover is no stranger to fuel cell technology and is already testing a hydrogen system integrated into a Defender prototype. A driveable hydrogen-powered concept should be revealed relatively soon as a preview of the potential of that technology.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be a battery-powered Range Rover, though, as Autocar also reports about a new development partnership between Land Rover and BMW. It will be focused on the joint development of new electric drive systems, with the publication claiming it is almost certain that the Range Rover EV will feature at least two electric motors and an output that is comparable to the most potent combustion-powered variants.
For now, the most powerful electrified new Range Rover is the P510e available in Europe, which combines a 3.0-litre inline-six engine, a 38.2-kWh lithium-ion battery, and a 141-bhp (105-kW) electric motor integrated into the transmission. The combined output of the PHEV powertrain is 503 bhp (375 kW), enough for a 0-62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometres per hour) sprint in 5.6 seconds. In the United States, the British brand will launch the plug-in hybrid for the 2023 model year in a slightly detuned form with 434 bhp (324 kW).