Range Rover P400e PHEV: Just as posh but a lot greenerThe Range Rover has long been a utility vehicle for those with money to spend. But does the P400e PHEV version give the well-to-do a more environmentally friendly option?
[MUSIC] We're living in an age where everyone is trying to be more conscientious. As a home owner, you try to recycle. Perhaps only use the couple of dozen rooms that really need heating. You use a helicopter more sparingly. But what about your car? You need something to check around on the estate in, check on the landmarks, the wildlife, the out buildings, perhaps. But you're trying to be more self aware, project the right image so a Rolls Royce or Bentley just does not really cut it. You need something simple, something like, I don't know, just a I've written an autobiography and 800,000 pounds. But then a big petrol engine won't really cut it and diesel you've heard bad things. Well now Land Rover thinks it has the answer. It has a new Range Rover plug in hybrid electric vehicle. [UNKNOWN] for short or possible [UNKNOWN]. Nobody's quite sure yet. The Range Rover P400E plug in high rate electric vehicle to get its full title but size 398 brake horse power and 471 pounds of a torque. Thanks to our 114 brake horse power electron motion at 296 brake horse power four cylinder petro engine. That's make it more powerful than the Turbo V6 petro. And both the V6 and V8 diesel options. 0 to 60 miles an hour is dispatched in 6.4 seconds, and flat out it will do 137 miles an hour. Figures that are a smidgen better than its almost identically priced SD-V8 stable mate. With a theoretical electric only range of 31 miles, it means you can go All the way from the front gate in Oxfordshire to the back gate somewhere in Middlesex, checking to see on the peasants, that their not revolting. Pheasants, sorry, pheasants, not peasants. In all seriousness though, if you live out in the countryside, they're not so you can drive into London, where you might be working, and at that point, well, you can duck out of the congestion [UNKNOWN] For a start. There are also two main modes. There's ED mode, fairly obvious here, and then there's parallel hybrid mode. Within the parallel hybrid mode there are two further options that save, which means it will store up all that battery energy until you actually need it in sort of in the city, when you get into London for example. And there's also predictive energy optimization, PEO, which will work with a [UNKNOWN] to work out where it's best to use the various energy sources. Petrol and electric during your journey that you have planned ahead of you, clever stuff. All of this leads to a CO2 figure of just 64 grams per kilometre the combined cycle fuel economy figure, for what that's worth, of 101MPG the vehicle exercise duty rules that you pack just 15 pounds in its first year. Compared to 1,200 pounds for the SDV8. Charging of the 13.1 kilowatt hour battery, by the way, is accomplished via a port in the front grill and takes two hours forty-five minutes from a 32 out wallbox and seven and a half hours from a normal plug. So what's it like to drive? Well, it is obviously very quiet which is exactly what you want from A Ranger Rover. Of course a car that's five meters long and turn off turns. Well, handling is never gonna as faulty and you really kinda feel the weight in this. [LAUGH] It's much better to sit back cruise The two and a half ton curb weight is almost identical to the V8 Diesel. But, owing to the weight of the batteries in the boot, the towing capacity of the [UNKNOWN] is only two and a half instead of three and a half Tons, so you might need to buy a smaller horse or something. The other thing that obviously people might think it's difficult to get your head around is the fact that you've got a four cylinder turbocharged engine under the bonnet, actually mounted longitudinally, not horizontally as you'd expect in a hot hatch. The sound from it, to be honest, most of the time you just don't notice it's there, and at high speeds, it could be anything, to be honest. The only time you notice it is away from the lights. So here we are coming to a stop at some lights, albeit imaginary, and then you set off. And it sounds a little bit like you're racing a hot [UNKNOWN] away from the lights, as though it's somewhere distant, but close by. The way that the petrol motor actually kicks in and augments the electric power is pretty seamless as well. It's also worth mentioning the brakes, because obviously, when there's regeneration going on. It can be, well, a little bit tricky, but I have to say I really haven't noticed any inconsistency in the pedal field at all, which is good to know. Inside, this is now the 2018 spec range rover and very lovely it is too. These seats are actually slightly wider because they moved the controls up to the door [UNKNOWN] Mercedes. And also Slightly comfier I think even than before. The other big change in here is the infotainment. Land Rover describes it as, and I quote, a digital butler fit for the 21st century. Curiously all this was actually code named Blade. One more clever little gimmick is that the sun blind for the roof can be opened or closed with a simple wave of the hand. Possibly a little awkward if you're the Queen on official duty but otherwise quite fun. I'd say, I think, actually a bit like Bentley. Land rovers always lag behind on that sort of premium feel for it's interiors and this really does feel like a big step up. These new screens, very lovely to look at but the essential information and graphics that's actually contained within them Underneath any different really. But again, they have been incrementally improved over time. So now it does feel like pretty much a good enough match for anything else out there. And in terms of looks, spot on. [SOUND] Things are arguably even more sumptuous should you choose to sit In the back of the car where you have up to 17 plug sockets which is more than some Pacific islands I believe. It's also more sumptuous back here. These seats are now wider and bigger and they will actually recline by up to 40 degrees. [BLANK_AUDIO] Which helps you make use of the extra 186 millimeters of leg room. Plus there is this nice calfrest, and a footrest as well. Both, of course, heated along with the armrest. All in all, it's simply delightful. [BLANK_AUDIO] Did I mention the massage seats? Up to 25 different massage functions, thanks to something called Hot Stone Technology in the backrests. I'm not a spa sort of person, but it's quite nice. Of course this cream leather and luxury is all well and good but does a hybrid Range Rover still perform as good when the going gets gruddy? Well, yes. Better in fact, because according to Land Rover the P Hyds electric motor offers greater controls torque from the the standstill Improving low speed control. The low range transmission can also be operated in pure EV mode for stealthy stalking of poachers. To be honest, our off-road test route on the launch was slightly disappointingly tame or at least it was until this happened. Now, I was always taught that water and electricity don't mix. [BLANK_AUDIO] So how will the Range Rover [INAUDIBLE] get on with crossing this lake? There we go. [LAUGH] Wading always seems, just, very surreal. It's like I'm in a boat. Now in order to wade in depths of up to 900 millimeters, you do actually have to have the engine running. Because otherwise, it will draw in the water through the exhaust. But even so, [LAUGH] [BLANK_AUDIO] And there we are at the other side [LAUGH]. Water and electricity, no problem apparently. After a day in the grounds of [UNKNOWN] Palace, and on the roads of Oxfordshire, I thought the Ranger Rover P have made rather a lot of sense. It retains that stately air, and has ample performance. In fact, I think a fully EV Range Rover Make even more sense. There's no requirement to have a great sounding Range Rover. If anything you probably want to slip quietly about the countryside like a library on wheels sitting serenely above all the hustle and bustle. This little or not so little oasis of car. [BLANK_AUDIO]