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Range Rover Hybrid: Go anywhere with more eco cred (pictures)

The Range Rover has been given a hybrid setup, so we took it off road to see whether water and electricity can safely mix.

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drew-stearne-headshot1

Drew Stearne

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1 of 20 Nick Wilkinson
The Hybrid Range doesn't scream "eco."
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...but does scream "luxury."
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3 of 20 Nick Wilkinson
That's a good thing, as people who shout about how eco-tastic they are...
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4 of 20 Nick Wilkinson
...tend to be the most irksome people in the world.
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5 of 20 Nick Wilkinson
The RR Hybrid uses a diesel/electric setup.
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6 of 20 Nick Wilkinson
The 3.0-litre V6 diesel model is pretty efficient for a 2-tonne car.
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7 of 20 Nick Wilkinson
But adding a small electric motor pushes its economy to 44 mpg (UK).
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8 of 20 Nick Wilkinson
Which, when you think about it, is pretty good.
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9 of 20 Nick Wilkinson
All of the eco gubbins doesn't screw with its off-road ability, though.
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Land Rover took a selection of Hybrid prototypes along the 10,000-mile Silk Trail in India.
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It's a challenging route that took over 50 days to drive.
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Not one of the cars has a mechanical malady. There were a few punctures, but that's about it.
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Land Rover says the Range Rover Hybrid is for captains of industry and the like who don't want to lose the prestige of a Range...
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...but want to be seen as environmentally responsible.
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Great in theory, that. But the Hybrid is only available in the top "Autobiography" spec.
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Which costs over £98,000. The same as the supercharged 5.0-litre V8.
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Surely if you're dropping £98k on a car, you can afford the performance of a V8?
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All told, the hybrid setup is remarkably smooth -- the switch between engine and EV is largely seamless.
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And cruising around in a 2-tonne car using EV mode is pretty cool.
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20 of 20 Nick Wilkinson
It's an excellent blend of econess and capability.

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