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  • So you've wanted a Range Rover for quite some time but you just keep thinking to yourself,

  • darn it I really need a hybrid and preferably one with a plug. OK, that scenario is highly

  • unlikely but that doesn't mean Land Rover isn't doing it anyway because they are.

  • Meet the 2020 Range Rover Sport PHEV.

  • Plug-in hybrid technology is a bridge between a standard gasoline-electric hybrid and a

  • fully electric vehicleIt provides a short EV driving range, typically less than 30 miles,

  • before a small gas engine joins the party at which point you're back to normal hybrid

  • driving; some EV, some gas but typically a blend of the 2 which delivers vastly improved

  • MPGs.  A PHEV's allure likely rests with how far you typically driveIf you're

  • an around the town, short distance kind of commuter and dutifully keep the battery charged

  • you may use little to no gas at all. This is why the EPA's estimates for PHEVs should

  • be used as a loose guideOf course, electric motors also boost performanceThey don't

  • need time to generate their peak torqueyou press the accelerator and the car just goesquietly.

  • That's the coolest partIf you've never experienced it before you'll immediately

  • notice the difference.

  • You certainly can't say Land Rover isn't providing choices here; the Range Rover Sport

  • is offered with a diesel, 2 mild hybrids, a couple of supercharged V8s and this PHEV

  • supported by a 2.0-liter turbo 4. The P400e as it is known falls just short of its name

  • at 398 horsepowerBut it's the 472 pound-feet of torque this powertrain produces that slots

  • it 2ndin twisting force to only the mighty SVR in the 6 model Sport lineupBut batteries

  • and motors are heavy so the PHEV's 0-to-60mph time of 6.3 seconds makes it the slowest Sport

  • this side of the diesel modelFar from plodding but a little disappointing nevertheless.

  • When plugged-in at home to a standard household outlet it'll take about 14 hours to fully

  • recharge this battery which according to Range Rover will deliver 31 miles of EV power.

  • But I've only been getting about 21 so far this week and even then this engine has been

  • kicking-in way more than I ever would've thought.

  • Ambient temperature, driving styleit all factors into the EV range you'll see but

  • this one can't wait to get that buzzy little turbo involved even when working the gas pedal

  • with the gentle touch of baby's handThough there is an EV mode that'll force the engine

  • to stay off if there's enough charge AND an ECO driving mode I want my 20 miles or

  • so to be gas-free and I'm rarely getting that here.

  • When I think of the Range Rover Sport I envision an effortlessly quick SUV with a killer supercharged

  • engineThis, on the other hand, feels kind of weirdYeah, it's quick in a hybrid

  • sort of way but the drive feels disjointed, the organic braking is gone and there are

  • no accompanying sounds you want to hearAnd the plug-in factor seems superfluous seeing

  • as how the EV range is low, charge times long and pure electric driving is hard to come

  • byOf course it looks great, the cabin is still vault-like and other than having

  • no spare tire its off-road chops haven't been compromisedBut at over $93,000 as-tested

  • I don't see many Range Rover Sport buyers lusting over this model.

  • I will say this; the PHEV feels better the harder you drive itIt's less at ease

  • in city workIn Sport mode the tall and heavy Range Rover squats and sticks to the

  • road in physics-defying waysAnd there's truly something to the feeling of being in

  • a Range Rover's hermetically sealed cabininvincibility and serenity permeate the experience.

  • Base MSRP is $80,295 but if items like Blind Spot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, heated

  • steering wheel, and head up display interest you the price goes upThis loaded HSE example

  • stickers for $93,200 and does pack some pretty cool stuff; The 21” wheels, black contrast

  • roof, heated and cooled front and rear seats, center console refrigerated compartment and

  • configurable ambient lighting are all extras but lend big-time style and grandiose accouterments.

  • And finally, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have been added to Land Rover's brilliant-looking

  • dual touchscreen setup that's still a little confusing to use but adds big-time visual

  • popAnd I love 360 degree cameras but with no dedicated button to access it quickly it's

  • often too little too lateAnd the PHEV doesn't scale back its 4-wheel drive capabilitiesTerrain

  • Response is here to dial in the appropriate off-road mode, the air suspension can get

  • crazy high or low depending on your travels and its nearly 3 feet of water fording is

  • preserved.  A New Wade Sensing system even provides real-time water depth information.

  • Because the battery pack is back here the PHEV does lose a little cargo room.

  • The Range Rover Sport is due for a complete redesign in 2021 and though there are some

  • dated components, this model is holding up quite well near the end of its lifecycle.

  • The EPA has yet to rate the fuel economy of this PHEV which finally arrives stateside

  • this summer but it will easily be the most fuel efficient Sport you can buyThe same

  • plug-in treatment is also coming to the big Range RoverThe appeal will be limited.

  • For me, I'll take mine with the 5.0.

So you've wanted a Range Rover for quite some time but you just keep thinking to yourself,

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B1 US rover range hybrid gas plug engine

2020 Range Rover Sport PHEV | Fast and Frugal? | TestDriveNow

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    Takaaki Inoue posted on 2020/10/20
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