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Plug-in hybrid tech coming to smaller Land Rovers





A tiny triple will become the muscle motor for the updated Land Rover Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque.

The 2020 models will get the three-cylinder turbo-diesel early next year as they bring plug-in hybrid technology to the two vehicles.

They will follow the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which have had four-cylinder petrol PHEV technology for more than a year in Australia.

The big Rangie brothers trumpet a combined total of 297kW, thanks to a battery boost of 80kW, and can run fully electric for 50km. Their fuel economy is just 2.8L/100km with 64g/km of CO2.

The new three-cylinder engine comes as an addition to Jaguar Land Rover’s latest family of Ingenium internal-combustion engines, which are migrating steadily across the whole JLR line-up.

It is destined first for the Discovery Sport and Evoque as Land Rover looks to boost the competitiveness of its updated SUVs, overtaking the four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines already fitted to the Evoque and upcoming Discovery Sport.

“The three-cylinder should be the most powerful, because it combines a diesel combustion engine with the plug-in hybrid package,” company spokesman James Scrimshaw told carsales at the global preview drive of the Discovery Sport in Spain.

He is reluctant to get into detail, but the final figure will be close to 150kW, which is close to the output for the base four-cylinder petrol motor.

But it also has an 80kW battery, which means a total of nearly 230kW.

The three-cylinder has a capacity of 1.5 litres, as the steps up through the Ingenium package come in 500cc increments. So the four-cylinder is 2.0 litres and the Ingenium inline six is 3.0 litres.

“It’s a modular design, which means we can do three, four and six-cylinder layouts. The newest is the six-cylinder petrol which will be in the all-new Defender next year,” says Scrimshaw.

In the case of the three-cylinder, he says JLR Australia is still waiting for full specifications including the crucial fuel economy and CO2 numbers, but he is expecting an extended electric-only range.

“It should be around 70km,” Scrimshaw says.

The PHEV package is an AC system, which means it will plug into a three-pin home socket, with an 8kWh battery.

Apart from the performance boost, Scrimshaw says the three-cylinder move is a response to growing demand in Australia for hybrid powertrains.

“The market is asking for plug-in hybrids and we want to be at the forefront. We’ve already got the technology in the Range Rover models and this will stretch it into the Discovery Sport and Evoque, with more to come,” Scrimshaw says.

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Land Rover Discovery Sport to go electric