2010 Land Rover Range_e Hybrid Concept
There are plenty of good reasons why, but that doesn't stop people wanting the twin-pronged benefits of highway and city economy.
SUV buyers could get their wish if Land Rover brings diesel-electric hybrids to the U.S, though.
New European emissions regulations in September 2014 will bring European and U.S. standards much closer, improving the business case for selling European diesels in North America.
The new Euro 6 standards are much stricter than the current Euro 5 standards, and NOx emissions from diesel vehicles are cut significantly. Previously, the cost of converting a Euro 5 engine to meet U.S. regulations was prohibitive for many automakers--one of the reason's Europe's proliferation of diesel models never made it across the pond.
It'll also prepare Land Rover for ever-stricter CAFE fuel efficiency targets, culminating in 2025's 54.5 mpg standards.
Diesel hybrids, diesels?
Land Rover is expected to launch diesel-hybrid versions of both Range Rover models at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
Both will match a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 engine in parallel with an electric motor, which sits between the engine and eight-speed automatic transmission.
The vehicles' high floors mean all electrical components--including the batteries--can be mounted below the passenger compartment, with no effect on interior or trunk volume.
The drivetrain is a development of that seen in the Range_e plug-in hybrid prototype, unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. That car was based on the previous-generation Range Rover Sport, but used a similar V-6 diesel and electric motor combination.
It isn't just hybrid models, either--Edmunds also reports that Land Rover's regular 3.0-liter V-6 and 4.4-liter V-8 diesel models could also hit the U.S.