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Range Rover goes electric

It’s been a long time coming, and there is still a wait, but the Range Rover Electric is on its way, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

One small detail is likely to define a new era for the Range Rover as it unveils the prototype of the first fully electric edition of the luxury SUV.

More patents anticipated to be filed for the Range Rover Electric than any other model yet under this marque. That speaks to the level of innovation required for electric vehicles (EVs), as well as an intention to make a mark in the segment.

The waiting list for orders opened yesterday (13 December) for the vehicle, which is still in prototype stage – although far advanced. Jaguar Land Rover says the cars “are being subjected to one of the most rigorous engineering sign-off programmes ever”. The intention is “to confirm capability spanning extreme temperatures, all conditions and every terrain”. And that, naturally, includes wading through up to 850mm deep water.

The EV version of the Range Rover has been a long time coming, with the Jaguar brand setting the, err, pace as long ago as 2018, when the I-Pace was announced. That model has undergone several enhancements in the five years since then but will make way for a new generation of EVs in 2025. 

Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed that the I-Pace, along with all Jaguar internal combustion engine (ICE) models, will be discontinued in 2025. That’s when the brand is expected to be re-launched with an entirely new EV line-up. It also means that sister brand Land Rover has some catching up to do.

It has introduced plug-in electric hybrids (PHEVs) and mild hybrids (MHEVs) across Land Rover and Range Rover but, as EV reviewer Christian de Looper put it so neatly in Digital trends recently, “There’s a Range Rover-sized hole in the EV industry.”

That hole is about to be plugged, or at least plugged in.

Geraldine Ingham, MD of Range Rover, said yesterday: “Marking a new era for the Range Rover brand: the original luxury SUV is now available as an all-electric model.

“Since going on sale in 2021 the latest generation Range Rover has set a new benchmark for desirability. Across the globe, we’re seeing the highest levels of client demand in our 53-year history. Because of this unprecedented success story, we’re now opening the official waiting list for the opportunity to be among the first to place a pre-order for the most anticipated Range Rover of recent times.”

Thomas Müller, executive director of product engineering at Jaguar Land Rover, said the company was on target to create the quietest Range Rover yet.

“The magic ingredients that underpin the success of Range Rover remain unchanged: timeless, reductionist design, a serene cabin and go-anywhere capability – but now offered with zero tailpipe emissions,” he said yesterday. 

“And as repeated throughout history, the Range Rover will continue to set the standard. The first of its type. An electric luxury SUV that can deliver on the Range Rover promise. A true global luxury product, as yet unseen in the industry.

“Created in the heart of the United Kingdom, the Range Rover Electric will slot into the range alongside its mild hybrid (MHEV) and plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) siblings, offering a breadth of options to meet our clients’ needs.”

JLR says the Range Rover Electric will deliver performance comparable to a flagship Range Rover V8 and the all-terrain capability of Land Rover. And, it says, the first physical vehicles have been built, after a year of virtual development spanning front-end robustness, multi-body systems analysis that considers the demand on the chassis, and virtual wading at up to 50km/h.

Global on-road testing has also started, in contrasting environments like Sweden and Dubai, with temperatures ranging from -40C to +50C.

The car will be built at Solihull in the United Kingdom, on the same production line where existing mild and plug-in hybrid Range Rover vehicles roll off, using JLR’s Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). The batteries will be built at JLR’s new Electric Propulsion Manufacturing Centre in Wolverhampton.

Range Rover promises “a seamless electric ownership experience” with easy charging, energy partnerships, software-over-the-air updates and intelligent technology to maximise range. It will use an 800V architecture to enable rapid charging on public networks.

  • To join the Range Rover Electric waiting list for the opportunity to place a pre-order, click here: RANGE ROVER
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