A prototype diesel-electric hybrid 4x4 vehicle has won its developers the 2011 Award for Automotive Innovation of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Jaguar Land Rover’s Range_e, first revealed at the Geneva motor show in March, beat off competition from companies across the car, commercial vehicle and supply chain sectors.
JLR says the Range_e marks a world first as a luxury all-wheel drive vehicle powered by a plug-in hybrid system, bringing together a 69kW electric motor and 14.2kWh lithium-ion battery with Land Rover’s 245PS 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine.
Based on the Range Rover Sport, the Range_e can be driven for more than 20 miles in electric mode, after which the diesel hybrid drivetrain engages and continues to optimise CO2 emissions. Despite a top speed of around 120mph, overall CO2 output is 89g/km with 85mpg fuel economy.
The award, sponsored by GKN Driveline, is designed to showcase the importance of R&D and the role the UK plays in developing global automotive products.
Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive and chair of the judging panel, said: “JLR has engineered and manufactured a highly efficient and technologically advanced prototype vehicle that clearly demonstrates industry’s commitment to lowering vehicle emissions and creating exciting products for demanding consumers.”
Accepting the award, Peter Richings, Jaguar Land Rover chief engineer for hybrids, said: “Range_e demonstrates the advances we are making in cleaner and more fuel efficient performance without compromising the performance and all-wheel drive capabilities that are at the heart of our brand. This award is testament to the range of skills, excellence and enthusiasm of not just our own engineers and designers, but the people in the research and academic organisations in the UK that have supported them.”
The Range_e is one of a number of Land Rover projects supported by the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board. Five prototype models are currently engaged in a test programme with Land Rover's fellow members of the CABLED - Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators - consortium.
The technology showcased in Range_e is destined to be deployed in production vehicles, following on from Land Rover’s planned introduction of its first diesel-electric hybrid model in 2013.