China is a big country, where big cars are a big deal. With a penchant for ultra high-end, ultra luxury vehicles, getting your foot in the door of the Chinese market is seen by premium car brands as a very lucrative avenue indeed. The Beijing Motor Show provides the perfect spotlight for big European names to do just that and this year Land Rover have brought something to the party which they hope will get heads turning; the new Range Rover Hybrid Long Wheelbase.
At first glance, the introduction of a large, luxury Range Rover may not seem a particularly radical notion to the well-to-do of China’s mega cities. However, when you consider that this variant will run on diesel hybrid power, a totally alien concept in the land of the dragon, the British marque really is sailing in uncharted water.
The first diesel hybrid model ever to be sold in China will benefit from Land Rover’s rock solid 3.0 litre SDV6 engine and a 35kW electric motor, both mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Combined, these powertrains will give the Range Rover LWB 335bhp and a class-leading 560 lb-ft torque. As with all modern hybrid systems, the electric motor can not only be called on for an added injection of acceleration, it can also single handedly power the car at low speeds for one mile stints. Depending on which of the three different drive modes is selected, the Range Rover Hybrid LWB can muster upwards of 44mpg, with emissions slashed accordingly. Land Rover’s unrivalled all-wheel drive technology comes courtesy of the tried and tested Terrain Response system seen before on the non-hybrid petrol and diesel models.
As you would expect from the stretched long wheelbase version, the interior is even more all-consuming than ever. The already spacious rear cabin gets an extra 186mm of leg room and potential customers can also mull over the option of the even more sumptuous executive seating package.
The model that will hit showrooms in China towards the end of 2014 will also be rolled out to other markets worldwide sometime in the new year. The exact UK release date as well as details on pricing will be revealed in due course.