Land Rover will replace their V8 engines over the coming years with a straight-six version of their Ingenium engine family. The first vehicle in North America to use this drivetrain is the Range Rover Sport HST, which combines the new engine with Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle (MHEV) technology to continue Land Rover's progress towards an alternative-fuel future.
The engine debuts in the Range Rover Sport HST, which includes some special cosmetic adornments in addition to the special engine, including carbon fiber trim, special seats, suedecloth detailing on the steering wheel and shifter, and special badging on the dashboard.
The straight-six is a legendary engine, known for its balance and smoothness. Perhaps made most famous by BMW, which has never made a V6, it was also used by British automakers like Jaguar. A version with an unusual F-Head valve layout (intake valves were in the head, but exhaust valves were in the block) was used in Land Rover Series products, including the 1967 Series IIA NADA (North American Dollar Area) 109" station wagons. A BMW M52 straight-six was also available in Defenders in some markets (most notably South Africa) in the late 1990s as an experiment after BMW's purchase of Land Rover.
The V6 that the Ingenium straight-six is replacing is actually a supercharged V8 with two cylinders not bored out, a necessary move to achieve fuel economy standards, but an awkward engineering exercise. The new straight-six will keep these economy gains, and add to them. A twin-scroll turbocharger is joined by a 48-volt supercharger, which spools up to create maximum boost in half a second, making turbo lag just about a thing of the past. It takes its power from energy lost in braking, much like a regular hybrid, and also assists the automatic start-stop system.
Putting out 395 horsepower and 405 lb/ft of torque, the new engine is no slouch -- and at 5.8 seconds from 0-60 mph, it's a full 0.9 seconds quicker than the old V6 -- and it gets 20% better fuel economy, too!
Pricing isn't available yet, but it might slot in on the higher end of the six-cylinder Range Rover Sports, at least for this introductory HST edition. Or if you can wait, in a few years it'll probably be the only six-cylinder in the range.
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