Full details: Land Rover unveils 'gamechanging' new PHEVs

  • Plug-in hybrid versions of the Evoque and Discovery Sport
  • P300e claims up to 41 miles of battery range
  • With CO2 output as low as 32g/km, attracting BIK tax of 6%
  • Available to order now from £43,850

Range Rover Evoque PHEV being charged

Land Rover has extended its range of plug-in hybrids to include the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport. The new models, which are available to order now feature a brand-new engine and hybrid system and promise to deliver the longest EV-only range in their class and the lowest company car tax.

The new plug-in hybrids (PHEV) models deliver a claimed electric-only range of up to 41 miles and CO2 emissions as low as 32g/km. The new models are both badged P300e and promise to deliver class-leading efficiency on the road, while maintaining the off-road capability Land Rovers are famous for. Up until now, all but the entry-level Evoque and Discovery Sport went as far as having mild-hybrid technology.

What’s under the skin?

Both the Land Rover Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque P300e are powered by the same engine/motor pack. Up front, there’s a new 200hp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine matched up with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. Integrated into the rear axle is a 109hp electric motor powered by a 15kWh battery pack located below the rear seats for a maximum combined power output of 309hp.

The clever electric motor is known as Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) and is extremely compact to maximise space and minimise weight. The complete system is located in a single casing, which is contained within the rear suspension.

The new petrol engine is Land Rover’s first three-cylinder, and promises super-fast warm-up times from cold start up, as well as impressive levels of efficiency. It has an integrated belt-integrated starter-generator (BISG) unit which replaces a traditional starter motor and also manages regenerative braking, recharging the battery and manages to restart the engine much more quietly.

Land Rover Discovery Sport PHEV being charged

How efficient are they?

As you’d expect from a PHEV, you get great official fuel consumption and efficiency figures. The Range Rover Evoque P300e produces 32g/km of CO2 in real-world (WLTP combined) testing, with fuel consumption of up to 201.8mpg. The Discovery Sport P300e doesn’t quite match that with 175.5mpg and 36g/km respectively. Its EV-only range is also slightly down at 38 miles.

How cheap are they to tax?

With CO2 emissions of 32g/km and a zero-emissions range of up to 41miles, some Evoque P300e models will qualify for the lower Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) rate of 6% in 2020/21, rising to 8% in 2022/23.

The slightly less efficient Discovery Sport isn’t quite as attractive, but is still competitive. It produces 36g/km and has a zero-emissions range of up to 38 miles, which equates to a 10% BIK rate in 2020/21, rising to 12% in 2022/23.

How fast are they?

With 309hp to play with (assuming there’s charge in the battery pack), as you’d imagine, performance is quite lively. Land Rover claims a 0-60mph time of 6.1 seconds for the Evoque and 6.2 seconds for the Discovery Sport. Much more importantly, if you’re commuting on electric only, you won’t hold up traffic, with an EV maximum speed of 84mph.

At speeds above that, the electric motor is disconnected to reduce load on the car and optimise efficiency. When speed drops back to below 84mph, the electric motor is reconnected automatically.

Range Rover Evoque PHEV infotainment information

What else do you need to know?

Integration has been key to this, with the charging system’s 240v/7kW junction box located beneath the front seats, as is the inverter, which sends braking energy to either the battery for use later or to the motor.

The PHEV can be fully charged from a 240v three-pin socket in 6hrs 42mins or via a 7kW domestic wallbox or public chargepoint in 1hr 24mins (to 80%). It can also use a faster DC public chargepoint, with a 0-80% top-up taking around 30 minutes. The charger’s port is at the rear of the vehicle, so no need to drive into a charge bay nose-first.

The P300e comes with three drive modes – Hybrid, EV and Save. It defaults to Hybrid, which automatically mixes power from the electric motor and petrol engine. EV mode is what you’d expect, allowing you to drive on battery alone, which is perfect for city driving. Save mode prioritises the petrol engine and keeps the battery topped up.

Charging and battery status can be managed remotely via Land Rover’s InControl Remote smartphone app. So, you can see how much charge it has, set your charging times to take advantage of cheap overnight tariffs, or pre-heat the cabin on a cold day. 

What this means for you

Land Rover says the P300e is a gamechanger, and is proud of the efficiency of these new PHEVs. This is reflected in their excellent WLTP fuel consumption, CO2 and battery-only range figures. The new cars fall right in the centre of one of the fastest-growing market sectors – plug-in SUVs – and promise strong resale values (for lower monthly payments) and impressively low BIK tax rates.

For those who need it Land Rover says that the P300e of both varieties still offer impressive off-road performance, and as one engineer told us, they are probably the best of the bunch due to a smooth, progressive throttle pedal for the best control in challenging off-road situations.

On road, Land Rover says that the huge amount of work it’s put into the way the hybrid system works will pay dividends, with the switch between petrol, hybrid and electric modes being particularly smooth.

We’ll be among the first to report back when we’ve driven one. The Range Rover Evoque PHEV and Land Rover Discovery Sport PHEV are now available to order alongside the standard 48-volt Mild Hybrid versions at www.landrover.co.uk and deliveries are expected from the summer.

Land Rover Discovery Sport PHEV charge port