After making all that noise about its Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) technology for the new Evoque, Land Rover is shifting gears…and in the end, it makes sense.
You remember all the noise Land Rover made back when the Evoque was the LRX Concept vehicle about how green the vehicle was going to be; about how its new Electric Rear Axle Drive – or ERAD – was going to provide a supplemental electric motor and hybridize a Land Rover for the first time ever?
Well, forget it. Turns out the Evoque is actually an entry-level vehicle, when you think about it, and adding a costly hybrid system would have pushed the vehicle’s price beyond what those customers would be willing to pay.
Besides, the 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine option (for Europeans buyers, at least) is just as good in the fuel economy department, making the exercise largely academic.
“Our approach to Evoque is more viable for the company and customers because hybrid technology on a relatively small car would load the price and add weight,” explained John Edwards, Land Rover’s Global Brand Director. “That technology is better suited to larger cars, probably from Discovery upwards. Our engineers have done a great job reducing weight on Evoque.”
This leads to a great big "however" in that they are, in fact, working on a hybrid prototype of the Range Rover Sport model, which features a more conventional parallel hybrid system with a 34-HP electric motor matched with a 3.0 liter V6 turbo diesel, which lets the vehicle travel up to 20 miles on electric power alone. Evidently, this gives the big, brawny Sport a fuel economy rating comparable to that of a compact car.
Now if they’d just get busy on a gas-powered version…
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