Is the Range Rover Sport P400e really economical?
The luxury SUV now comes with a battery in the boot.
Let's face it, no Range Rover has ever been famous for its ability to save the planet from global warming. However, times change, and now Land Rover is committed to offering a car that can run partially on electricity. The solution is this brand new Range Rover Sport P400e, a plug-in hybrid SUV that claims it can bring sportiness, offroad capabilities, luxury, comfort, and fuel efficiency in the same package.
Ever since the Sport had been introduced in 2005, Land Rover called it its most dynamic Range Rover. It's true if you compare it to the Discovery, Defender, or Vogue, the Sport is like the 911 of the range. In fact, to prove their car was worthy of the "Sport" denomination, Range Rover prepared a 550 horsepower version that clocked a lap-time of 8:14 around the Nürburgring (The 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR held the record of the fastest SUV around the famous track). Different story here as the P400e's main objective is to lower CO2 emissions.
It may have been launched two years ago in 2018, but the Sport P400e is as relevant as ever. Plug-in hybrid cars are becoming the new norm for manufacturers, and it makes total sense to include this technology in heavy SUVs like the Range Rover Sport. Land Rover's main goal was to propose a car that kept the same dynamic properties as the regular car while lowering its fuel consumption to a claimed 3.9l/100km!
The solution was to couple Land Rover's 300 horsepower 2.0 four-pot to a 13.1 kWh battery that produces an extra 100 horsepower, and that can run 50 km on full electricity. Unfortunately, this dream team only allowed us to average 8.5l/100km. However, for its defense, we did not always have access to plugs to charge it. The result is that you often end up with the extra weight of the useless empty battery, and that's the main downside of PHEV vehicles. Even though 400 horsepower feels like plenty, the Range Rover Sport P400e weighs nearly 2.8 tons, so I guess that an 8.5l/100km average is really not that bad. As mentioned above, to be a true Range Rover Sport, the P400e had to stay "sporty". Surprisingly, it performs quite well with a 0-100 km/h in only 6.7 seconds (as good as a Fiat 500 Abarth 695), and it will eventually reach a top speed of 220 km/h. It's no SVR but I can assure you that it is enough. At the end of the day, the Sport has to be a comfortable GT that can take a family of five anywhere, anytime, and in this field, it performs really well.
The Sport doesn't only have to drive well and be comfortable, it also has to look good on the outside and inside. Mission accomplished yet again. There is absolutely no design difference between the P400e and a regular Range Rover Sport apart from the tag. Good thing because I always thought the Sport looked amazing, especially in this R-Dynamic trim that elevates the overall exterior design of the car. The car received a facelift in 2018 with a modernized head and taillights, bumpers, and an upgraded interior.
Talking about the cabin, we cannot stress enough how beautiful it is. It inherited the touch duo system (double-decker screens on the central console) from the Velar, and the tech is up to the standards set by Germans. The rest of the cabin is refined, well built, and it feels like an expensive car with all these high-quality materials. The seats are so comfortable that you will want to take the long way home and relax for a bit longer. Honestly, this may be one of my favorite interiors, and there are absolutely no complaints I could find about it, except one. The large battery had to be packed somewhere, and this somewhere is in the trunk. It results in having quite a high floor and losing a bit of the boot space. However, all in all, I think the Range Rover Sport P400e ticks all the boxes as a family car.
One question remains unanswered; is it economical? You would need the right infrastructure in terms of power-wall or plugs to run the fuel consumption down to 3.9l/100km. Even with our 8.5l/100km, we could say that the addition of a battery helps a lot as a regular 2.0 Si4 Range Rover Sport averages 10l/100km. The luxury SUV offers the full package for people who are looking to get a little bit of everything. On the other hand, this package comes at a hefty starting price of CHF 105'000.- (£88K). High price, but then again, the Range Rover Sport P400e offers the full package and basically everything you would ever want in your daily vehicle.
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Range Rover Sport P400e