Land Rover seems to have a knack for delivering gut punches to the U.S. marketplace. Fresh off the debut of the new Range Rover hybrid at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Land Rover has announced that the vehicle will not be sold in the United States.
The news is disappointing but not terribly surprising. Land Rover has typically withheld its diesel variants from the United States, a fact that fans of the Land Rover Defender are all too familiar with. Strict U.S. emissions standards have been the reason Rover diesel vehicles aren’t sold in the states as the diesel engines do not meet our requirements. However, the Range Rover hybrid combines a V6 turbo diesel with an electric motor, offering superior fuel economy while greatly reducing emissions. One would think that the Range Rover hybrid will meet any U.S. emission regulation standards, so the decision not to sell the vehicle in the States is a bit puzzling.
Hybrid vehicles have enjoyed tremendous popularity in the United States, especially in light of the Obama administration’s new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations. This new mandate has boosted the auto industry’s mandatory fleet mpg from 25.3 in 2010 to 34.1 by 2016. This landmark legislation should pave the way for fuel-efficient hybrid diesels like the Range Rover to enter U.S. markets, so we are hopeful that the Range Rover Hybrid will find its way to U.S. shores sooner, rather than later.
In the meantime, this leaves us questioning whether we’ll see the much-publicized electric Land Rover Defender when it finally hits production. Our fingers are crossed.
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