Land Rover is developing a Range Rover-badged EV that will spearhead its foray into the electric car market, according to reports.
The electric crossover will be the British marque’s “most road-focused model yet”, but will retain the off-roading capabilities of the brand’s combustion-engined cars to give it a leg-up on rivals such as the Audi E-tron and upcoming Porsche Macan EV, reports Autocar.
Bosses at the Jaguar Land Rover group hope the upcoming EV will help boost falling sales in China - “a key factor in the company’s recent financial woes”, the motoring magazine says.
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With the Chinese government pushing buyers towards electric cars through measures including subsidies, both the Range Rover EV and Jaguar’s upcoming electric XJ are expected to be vital to the firm’s renewed push in the massive market.
Here’s what you need to know about the electric off-roader:
According to Auto Express, a next-generation version of the standard Range Rover is expected to arrive in 2022.
The electric variant is expected to share the same underpinnings as the combustion-engined version, meaning the EV may arrive shortly after - if not at the same time as - the regular model.
The electric Range Rover will reportedly use JLR’s new Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) production platform, which also serves as the base for the electric Jaguar XJ and the combustion-engined version of the next Range Rover.
Unlike the Volkswagen Group, which bases its EVs on electric-only architecture, the MLA platform can take a range of powertrains. In the Range Rover EV, the batteries will be placed underneath the cabin in a “skateboard” design, along with two electric motors on each axle, says Autocar.
The new car should “sit between the Evoque and the Velar [top] in terms of overall size” and is tipped to have a “lower roofline and smaller frontal area” than its siblings “in order to optimise economy and range”, the magazine adds.
Battery specs and range
According to US automotive site Motoring Authority, the MLA platform can support battery sizes of up to 90.2kWh - equating to a range of around 250 miles.
And Auto Express reports that the electric off-roader will “almost certainly be one of the first models to benefit from a new agreement struck between JLR and the BMW Group to develop components for next-gen electric vehicles”.
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