Land Rover, which is currently undergoing the largest product revamp in its history, is launching its first fully electric Range Rover. The new Range Rover, which will be available with mild-hybrid, plug-in and fully electric powertrains when it debuts in 2021, hopes to rival fellow upscale SUVs.
The fifth-generation Range Rover is expected to be the most technically advanced vehicle in the British firm’s 50-year history. A completely new model, the Range Rover will be based on Land Rover’s new Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) that can adapt to mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric powertrains.
Engineers have been evaluating prototypes in Gaydon, the company’s headquarters, for the past year. The models feature a combination of brand-new running gear and current Range Rover structures. The company is hoping to make the Range Rover even more exclusive as a result of increased competition from the Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan in the marketplace.
Land Rover’s design director Gerry McGovern is now weighing what to do with the electric Range Rover, which will arrive after the standard hybrid and plug-in models, around 2022. McGovern told Auto Express that his team is employing an ‘evolutionary’ approach with the forthcoming model yet given the versatility of an electric powertrain means several style options are available for an electric Range Rover.
New fifth generation Range Rover will go electric pic.twitter.com/ytxtuMplBM— Engines & Wheels (@premchandc87) November 7, 2019
“There are two basic approaches,” McGovern told Auto Express. “There’s one that says if it’s an all-electric vehicle, it gives you the ability to free up your proportions. So, you could have a more cab-forward approach. And then the question is, is that right for Land Rover?”
“Or do you just forget about what the proportion system is, and design the car round its relevance to the consumer and optimising it in terms of what it’s capable of doing in terms of its on-road/off-road abilities, in terms of its functionality, its storage, its versatility and all those things?” he added.
All new Range Rovers will be manufactured at JLR’s Solihull factory, which was awarded a £500 million investment increase last year. The influx of cash will allow the fully electric, hybrid, and diesel models to be built at the site.
The mechanical underpinnings of the electric Range Rover are still a mystery, but the MLA platform enables two electric motors to be added, one on each axle, for four-wheel drive. The size of the new model will also permit Land Rover to integrate a battery as large as 100kWh, allowing the SUV a range in excess of 300 miles.
“The Range Rover, whether it’s electric or not, is a car that’s loved the world over, and it’s highly differentiated from anything. Thinking about the next-generation model, would you change it just so you could say that, because it’s electric, we don’t really need a bonnet anymore, so let’s pull the cab forward and end up looking like a bus or a van?” McGovern said.
“You have to be really careful how you deal with that, and if you look at the Range Rover Sport and Evoque, they’ve all evolved – they’re evolutionary, they’re not deliberately, dramatically going away from what they were before. They become more modern, they become more technically capable. We’ve embraced technology to enable the design to be more modern.”