Range Rover isn't the first brand that comes to mind when thinking of green vehicles. Cars for traversing green and pleasant lands, perhaps, but not saving fuel as they do so.

However, the company is changing. First there was the smaller, lighter Evoque, then plug-in hybrid prototypes.

Next on the list are hybrid versions of both the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, expected to debut at this September's Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany.

According to carsales.com.au, the diesel hybrids will join the more potent V-8 diesel models at the vast German show.

The new hybrids will use a V-6 diesel engine, and send their power through the same 8-speed ZF automatic transmission as other Range Rover models.

Land Rover's Stuart Frith, Chief Programme Engineer for the Range Rover Sport, confirmed previous speculation by saying it's "very safe to assume" that the car's hybrid system will feature a motor/generator between engine and transmission.

This implies the new model will be a mild hybrid, rather than a full hybrid--using its electric motor for assistance and battery recouperation--with electric-only propulsion unconfirmed.

Both Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are much lighter than in previous generations however, so performance and economy should both be impressive for the vehicles' size.

The company is targeting European CO2 emissions of 169 g/km--equivalent to 36 mpg, so a real-world high-20s is likely. When the existing Range Rover Sport manages only 14 mpg combined from its 5.0-liter V-8, the benefits of diesel and hybrid technology are clear. With the hybrid hardware located under the floor of each vehicle, the cars' famed utility should also be unaffected.

Frith also confirmed to carsales that the company is looking at using a four-cylinder Ecoboost engine in the Sport at some stage--though didn't elaborate on when that might be.

At this stage, it's unclear whether either diesel hybrid model, or the Ecoboost, will arrive in the U.S.


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