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Straight-six mild-hybrid power for Range Rover

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With the furore of the new Land Rover Defender pics dying down a bit today, the boys from Solihull are keeping us going with another bit of retro news - the straight-six engine is making a comeback in the Range Rover.

A development of the four-cylinder Ingenium family, this new P400 MHEV turbocharged inline-six petrol engine not only develops a robust 400hp and 550Nm of torque, it's also a mild-hybrid. Thanks to the addition of an integrated starter-generator, and a compact 48-volt lithium-ion battery, this big petrol Range Rover can actually boast similar emissions and economy figures to the old 4.4-litre V8 diesel - Land Rover claims 9.3 litres per 100km (30.4mpg) and 212g/km of CO2 on the NEDC2 emissions cycle.

Not only that, but the engine also incorporates an electric supercharger. Designed to eliminate turbo-lag, this little do-hickey spools up to its maximum 65,000rpm compressor speed in half-a-second, and means that the engine's twin-scroll turbocharger can concentrate on providing high-end power.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: "Traditional Range Rover strengths have been heightened with the introduction of the latest 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine. Advanced technologies, such as Continuous Variable Valve Lift, work alongside a mild-hybrid system that harvests energy as you drive, to improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions. The otherwise wasted energy is used to power the electric supercharger, which enhances vehicle capability by enhancing the torque curve at low engine speeds for greater responses. Superior comfort is achieved thanks to the natural mass balance of the engine, which allows it to run more smoothly."

As well as the new engine, Land Rover is adding some new colour options to the Range Rover. Eiger Grey replaces Corris Grey and Portofino Blue is now available instead of Loire Blue. Customers can also choose a new 22-inch Gloss Black wheel, in addition to the existing 21-inch and 22-inch options.

There are new LED headlights too - available in a Matrix LED setup or a new 'Pixel' LED unit - that recognises when light is being reflected and scattered back from a road sign, and gently dims the portion of the beam hitting the sign, so as to avoid dazzling the driver.

There's also a new smartphone pack, which now includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, and a suite of safety technology, including optional Adaptive Cruise Control - featuring Stop & Go and Steering Assist - alongside High Speed Emergency Braking.

The new 400hp mild-hybrid straight-six engine launches in a special HST edition of the Range Rover, which costs STG£83,655 in the UK, so will probably retail for around €170,000 here.

Rawdon Glover, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover UK, said: "Continued investment in our engine manufacturing plant in Wolverhampton is delivering new clean and efficient engine technology for our customers, giving the greatest breadth of choice yet. The P400 MHEV option on Range Rover Sport, with its refined, purposeful power delivery, has been well received by UK customers so we anticipate a welcome reception to this addition to the Range Rover range of vehicles."