By on August 7, 2018

Image: Jaguar Land Rover

Whenever I see a Range Rover — the true Range Rover — I always assume there’s someone connected to the music industry behind the wheel. Just like Lambos and hockey players, we associate a type of person with a type of vehicle. And, given its origin as a vehicle designed to crush vegetation beneath its wheels while coddling its occupants with the supple hide of dead livestock, “environmentalist” is not the persona we associate with Land Rover’s Range Rover stable.

We’ll have to change our assumptions. For 2019, Range Rover’s glitziest nameplate adds a plug-in hybrid variant, allowing drivers to spew zero tailpipe emissions while taming nature in classic Victorian fashion.

Called the Range Rover P400e, Jaguar Land Rover’s newest electrified model offers 31 miles of all-electric driving via its 114-horsepower electric motor, juiced by a 13.1 kWh lithium-ion battery.

As the pinnacle of the model line, Range Rovers don’t come cheap, nor do they come spartan. Buyers can expect a heavy dose of luxury to back up their newfound green cred, but the P400e’s MSRP remains in the five-figure zone. Positioned between the HSE and HSE Td6 (fourth from bottom on the Range Rover totem pole), the P400e stickers for $95,150 and holds the distinction of being the only Range Rover with four-cylinder power. No long-wheelbase variant, sorry.

The mill is a turbocharged 2.0-liter Ingenium four-cylinder, making 296 horsepower. Total system output is 398 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque, channelled to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Sprints to 60 mph shouldn’t take more than 6.4 seconds, JLR claims.

While the Range Rover PHEV offers natty options (Hot Stone massage and front console chiller, anyone?) and a long list of sumptuous standard features, those shouldn’t be a mystery to those familiar with the automaker’s trappings. The few changes for 2019, besides the new PHEV model, include Wade Sensing (real-time info on the depth of the liquid you’re fording) and available Active Cruise Control system with Steering Assist.

Would-be buyers of the P400e are likely more interested in the powertrain — and the ability to select electric power when you want it.

The P400e’s default setting sees the vehicle driven as a conventional parallel hybrid, but drivers can also choose EV mode for gas-free motoring until the battery runs out. However, depending on the nature of your trip, selecting the “Save” function might be best. This mode keeps the battery’s capacity in reserve, with the vehicle driving solely under internal combustion power until the driver chooses to deploy EV mode — like in urban driving, for example. This mode also allows regenerative braking and coasting to top up the battery to full after driving in hybrid mode.

You’ll find the charging socket behind the Land Rover badge on the right side of the grille. The automaker claims a 2 hour, 45 minute charging time using a 220V/32 Amp dedicated charger. There’s also a home charging cord on board for those times when you only have access to a conventional wall outlet.

Given the status-symbol nature of Range Rovers, it’s hard to picture this vehicle performing anything other than freeway and around-town driving. Still, the automaker plays up the powertrain’s ability to deliver gobs of torque to each wheel from a standstill, touting its “superior pull-away” abilities on soft surfaces.

“The low range transmission can also be operated in pure EV mode; bringing luxurious refinement to all-terrain journeys,” it states. “The Land Rover Terrain Response 2 technology is also able to distribute torque from the electric motor – which has no creep speed and maximum torque from zero rpm – to all four wheels.”

[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]

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