New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Sporty Rangey becomes Range_e

2011-02-17 07:23

SPORTY INTENTIONS: Featuring additional electric power, the Range Rover Sport’s TDV6 now has enough shove to match its Vogue sibling’s TDV8.

Land Rover, considering its position as a manufacturer of large and medium SUV's, is serious about reducing its products effect on the environment.

That means lower mass (achieved wuth modern materials and construction techniques) and more-efficient hybrid drivetrains.

Last year Land Rover announced it would trim nearly 500kg off its fourth-generation Range Rover to bring the car down from its 2.7-ton licensing mass by integrating composite body panels and using a new riveted aluminium chassis, mirroring construction techniques sister company Jaguar’s used on the new XJ.


To demonstrate just how advanced its environmentally-friendly drivetrain engineering is, Land Rover has taken one of its least-efficient models – the Range Rover Sport – and turned it into a plug-in diesel hybrid.

Dubbed, quite originally, the Range_e this lower emissions Sport features the 180kW TDV6 engine supported by an electric motor of unspecified power. Driving via ZF’s hugely flexible eight-speed automatic transmission, the Range_e is said to be good for a (excuse the pun) range of nearly 1100km.

Although Land Rover won't say exactly how much power the addition of an electric motor brings to the Range_e's output, it should elevate this hybridised TDV6 drivetrain to an equal level of performance with the Range Rover Vogue's TDV8.


In pure electric drive the Range_e has an endurance of 32km. Although it may sound useless to the average South African buyer, this electric drive does get one into the centre of London without having to pay the significant congestion and emission charges leveled against vehicles of the Range Rover’s size.

Boasting an amazingly low CO2 emission rating of only 89g/km, the Range_e should prove perfect for the automotive image aspirations of nouveau riche who happen to care about the environment too.

Land Rover will release further details about the Range_e (especially detailing its electric motor) when it debuts at the 2011Geneva auto show in the first week of March.

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