Jaguar Land Rover looks confident about successfully electrifying even the biggest models, including the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Besides the Land Rover Defender EV, the Range Rover Sport EV and Range Rover EV will be the most daring vehicle projects under the Reimagine strategy.
In the Q&A session afterJLR detailed the new direction in February 2021, an analyst asked if it sees the Range Rover BEVs as a priority and their views on the risk involved in demand and profitability. In response, Thierry Bollore, the CEO of the British luxury automaker, indicated that both Range Rover Sport EV and Range Rover EV will be profitable models.
Well, when we design our programs, vehicle programs, I can tell you that we even do not imagine to design them with level of profitability which would be detrimental in terms of contribution to our targets. And I think it was quite clear in our presentations that we want all models of each brand to contribute to the profitability targets of the company. So, there is no margin here of mistaking, and we won’t. We know, we are going to make sure that we will get right profitability with these products as well.Thierry Bollore, CEO, Jaguar Land Rover
The same month, reader bartcars1 mailed us pictures of a UK-registered 2022 Range Rover testing in Solden, Austria. We ran a DVLA check, but the registration details don’t reveal anything except for the body color (black). Should it be the plug-in hybrid variant, an onboard charger would be accessible from a port behind the brand logo on the upper grille.TopElectricSUV.com reader Nicolas Elsen later showed the 2022 Range Rover from more angles (featured image and below image) in spy shots he captured near Lyon on the French highway).
Next-gen Range Rover design
The next-gen model’s silhouette looks nearly identical to the current-gen. JLR seems to be refining the globally lauded design with a slightly different expression for the new decade. While the Gerry McGovern-led design team retains the Range Rover’s signature features like the clamshell hood, straight lines, and clean and elegant surfaces, it is likely making the hallmark taper to the bodywork more dramatic. The drag coefficient could be around 10% lower than in the outgoing model (0.34 Cd) and beat the Mercedes GLS (0.32 Cd), which would give it best-in-class aerodynamics.
The next-gen Range Rover (codename: L460) and next-gen Range Rover Sport (codename: L461) will again have a closely related design, going by their nearly identical shapes. We observe that the Sport version has a more raked D-pillar that makes it noticeably hunchbacked. Soft parts like the lights, grilles, and bumpers should carry individual designs, but the two vehicles may not look significantly different to the casual observer. A high level of similarity would draw no complaints from Sport customers, though.
Spy pictures (published on Carscoops) indicate a more upscale interior on the 2022 Range Rover. It will include one but larger – possibly 11.4-inch – central screen instead of two 10-inch units of the current model.
6 new Land Rover electric variants by 2025 under the ‘Reimagine’ strategy
JLR says that the Land Rover portfolio will see the addition of six pure electric variants in the next five years and that the “first (Land Rover) all-electric variant will arrive in 2024,” referring to an electric model developed from scratch.
One of the ICE-EV conversions at Land Rover is the Range Rover EV that will head into a busy segment. According to a report on autocar.co.uk, for Bollore, a pure electric Range Rover is a priority. By the end of next year, Daimler would have the Mercedes EQS SUV on the market, and American full-size electric SUVs like the GMC Hummer EV SUV, Cadillac Lyriq, and the Lucid Gravity would be on the shopping list of the elite looking out for a luxury electric car.
Next-gen Range Rover debuts this year on the MLA
Land Rover’s biggest debut this year is the all-new 2022 Range Rover. The Mk5 Rangie will open a new chapter for the brand when it arrives, debuting a game-changing platform – MLA – that will prepare it to go all-electric.
MLA, short for Modular Longitudinal Architecture, will mark the true shift at Land Rover to an electric future. MLA will enable Land Rover to package even the heaviest SUVs with everything from conventional engines to hybrid systems and fully electric powertrains. Land Rover plans to utilize MLA for every model above the Evoque eventually, in a top-down approach, beginning with the big daddy Range Rover and helping the company achieve the goal are the three versions of MLA, namely low, mid and high. Land Rover will utilize the high-end version for the next-gen model, as per a CAR magazine report.
Land Rover is steering clear of purely ‘self-charging’ hybrid systems. It’s sticking to 48-volt mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies for its partially electric models. The 2022 Range Rover will debut with gasoline and diesel engines in mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms in line with that strategy. Every gas or diesel-powered engine will have some level of electric assistance.
The range could begin with a 300 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine developed in-house. This should be the only 2.0-liter option. Moving up, 3.0-liter straight-six engines delivering up to over 500 horsepower is the expectation in the media. The top dog will likely be a BMW Group-made 4.4-liter V8 gasoline engine dishing out well over 550 horsepower, perhaps 600 horsepower.
2022 Range Rover plug-in hybrid
The 2022 Range Rover could come in two plug-in hybrid variants. The base variant could have an upgraded version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that works with a 141 hp electric motor in the current Range Rover PHEV (P400e). The high-end variant could offer more power with two motors, providing plenty of torque at low engine speeds, making it very capable at off-roading. Depending on the variant, a 17.1 kWh battery pack could provide a range of around 33 miles (WLTP).
Road-testing of the 2022 Range Rover PHEV has also started, and some websites claiming it to be, have posted spy shots. The first pictures have revealed that the location of the Range Rover plug-in hybrid’s charging flap has changed from the front to the side. The plug-in hybrid variant is unlikely to have any major design changes from the standard variant. Autocar reader Nick Cooper spotted one of its prototypes towing a trailer loaded with powertrain telemetry equipment in the UK. He said that it operated silently, just as one would expect.
While shoving in a battery pack and motor to derive hybrid variants makes the next-gen model heavy, Land Rover may offset the weight increase with lighter materials and stands to benefit from lighter batteries as well. The company may need to develop several new weight-reduction measures because it has to convert many large Land Rover and Range Rover models to EVs in the future. A Land Rover Defender electric is already under development, so that’d be another heavy-duty model in need of trimming weight.
Land Rover may take covers off the standard 2022 Range Rover at the end of this year. Expect the U.S. launch of the Mk5 Range Rover in mid-2022.
Featured image: Nicolas Elsen (Instagram)