Land Rover: plug-in Range-e

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Land Rover: plug-in Range-e

Its an open secret that the next-generation Range Rover, due in 2013, will be the first car from Land Rover to go hybrid, and at Geneva the company is showcasing the powertrain it is developing in a current Range Rover Sport.

It will be a plug-in system allowing a car like the Range Rover to do 20 miles on battery power alone and almost 700 miles with the help of the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine.

Land Rover is aiming for CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km and a top speed of 120mph (50mph in all-electric mode) for the car, currently dubbed the Range-e.

The Geneva show model is said to be well ahead of the emissions target with a figure of 89g/km.

One of the clever things about it is that the electric motor is housed within the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission to help save weight. The system is being co-developed with other manufacturers, who will also be able to use it to bring down the emissions of their biggest, heaviest and most luxurious cars.

Land Rover is waiting for a model-change to introduce the hybrid system because it is intended to slot into the first of a new family of lightweight platforms the company is developing. The drive system is also still being developed in a small fleet of Range Rover Sport mules.

Land Rover had been working on a hybrid system similar to that soon to be available in the Peugeot 3008, with a front-mounted diesel engine and a rear electric motor or motors, but it has since scrapped the idea on the grounds of cost and complexity.

Range Rover unveil live at 13:45 GMT