Land Rover recently unleashed the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) versions of the Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque. Both vehicles are now on sale in Europe, and both have the combined prowess of a gutsy 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine and a small rear-mounted electric motor. With a combined output of around 300+ horsepower, the Evoque PHEV and Discovery Sport PHEV are the newest entrants in Land Rover’s expanding portfolio of plug-in hybrids.
Meanwhile, both PHEV versions of the Evoque and Discovery Sport are also destined to make a grand entrance in North America later this year. But instead of having a three-cylinder engine like its European counterparts, both U.S.-bound Evoque PHEV and Discovery Sport PHEV models are powered by a standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger with 246 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque.
In the Evoque PHEV, adding an electric motor bumps the output to 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque while the Discovery Sport is producing 286 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. Both vehicles are riding on a specific platform that was primarily designed with hybridization in mind, so Land Rover was able to shoehorn a 15 kWh battery pack beneath the rear seats.
The batteries are encased in a steel undertray to protect against off-road bumps and grinds, although the rear ground clearance suffers a bit compared to a standard Evoque or Discovery Sport.
The batteries allow the PHEV system to propel the Evoque for around 41 miles of emissions-free driving. In the Disco Sport, you have an estimated 38 miles of clean driving, and both hybrid versions can reach 84 mph using pure electric power. Admittedly, the range is not particularly brilliant, but European models are capable of achieving a combined 201.8 mpg for the Evoque PHEV and 175.5 mpg for the Disco Sport PHEV.
Also, the gasoline engine is connected to the front wheels while the electric motor is responsible for turning the rear axle. Both power sources can work independently or in tandem depending on the chosen driving mode. The Evoque PHEV and Disco Sport PHEV can still go off-roading with an effective all-wheel-drive system and nine-speed automatic gearbox, but this time you can do so with a cleaner conscience.
How about performance? Land Rover claims the Evoque P300e PHEV can rush to 60 mph in 6.1-seconds while the Discovery Sport P300e PHEV takes 6.2 seconds. The CO2 emissions are also worth mentioning since the Evoque P300e only spews 32g/km while the Disco Sport P300e is at 36g/km.
If the juice runs out, you can replenish the batteries in 30 minutes or less using a 32kW DC fast-charger. With a 7kW wall box charger, achieving an 80-percent charge only takes an hour and a half. But if you insist on using a standard electrical outlet, prepare to wait for around 7 hours to achieve a full charge. Both the Evoque PHEV and Discovery Sport PHEV are also equipped with regenerative braking to feed the batteries with electrons as you drive.
The European order books are now open for the Range Rover Evoque PHEV and Land Rover Discovery PHEV. American buyers will have to wait a bit longer as both are not expected to arrive until the end of 2020.
2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series confirmed: What we know of this Super SUV
Cadillac’s most lavish model is about to get a sports upgrade, with the 2023 Escalade V-Series marking the first time the SUV has worn the badge. While already notorious for its scale, luxury cabin, and general excess, the V-Series flavor of Escalade will add performance to that mix.
Full details of the 2023 Escalade V-Series won’t be shared until spring of this year, Cadillac has warned. These newly-released photos, meanwhile, show the pre-production form of the SUV. Still, it gives us plenty to go on, as does the trajectory of the V-Series line in general.
For Cadillac, V-Series is more than just speed
You can’t accuse Cadillac of underplaying just what a V-badged model can do. “With nearly two decades of racing-inspired prowess,” the automaker promises, “the V-Series designation is reserved for vehicles that encompass the peak of Cadillac performance, bold, distinguished design, and innovative technology.”
The route from V-Series’ founding in 2003 to today has seen a few big changes along the way. Initially intended as a way for Cadillac to compete with Mercedes-AMG and BMW’s M division, it debuted with the 2004 Cadillac CTS-V sports sedan. That managed to score a role in the original Matrix movie series, (specifically The Matrix Reloaded, released in 2003), helping secure the green-light for the second-generation V Series in 2009.
Cadillac stuck with a familiar strategy: big, high-horsepower V8 engines, paired with its Magnetic Ride Control system for a sedan that could flick from luxury cruiser to track hero at the push of a button. By the time the ATS-V arrived in 2015, however, the criteria had expanded. Smaller and more affordable than the third-generation CTS-V – which got the Corvette C7’s 6.2-liter LT4 V8 to play with – the ATS-V packed a twin-turbo V6.
Beyond that, Cadillac attempted to replicate what BMW and Mercedes had achieved, expanding “V” as a broader badge to indicate a more sporting – though not necessarily the most sporting – iteration of a regular model. It tried, and abandoned, the V-Sport trim, and has most recently settled on “V” badged models as being entry-level performance options. The CT5-V and CT4-V are the current examples of that.
Meanwhile, a new Blackwing designation flags the most extreme examples of V-Series performance. Initially referring to Cadillac’s new Blackwing engine, but since expanded, the trim has so far appeared on the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing, each produced in limited number.
What we expect from the 2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series
For the 2023 Escalade V-Series, the expectation is an evolution in performance rather than the outright leap that Blackwing badging would indicate. The current Escalade – now in its fifth-generation – already features a V8 engine as standard. That’s 6.2-liters in size and offers 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. A 10-speed automatic is standard.
They’re not small numbers, but then again the Escalade is not a small SUV. One possibility for an upgrade is the V8 from the CT5-V Blackwing, supercharged and with upwards of 600 horsepower on tap. Cadillac would obviously need to upgrade other components such as the brakes to balance that uptick in power, though Magnetic Ride suspension is already available on the SUV in its current form.
To better distinguish the V-Series truck visually, Cadillac has given it a moody makeover. The grille switches to black mesh, and most of the chrome has been deleted in favor of gloss-black trim. The bumpers front and rear, and the side sills, have been tweaked, and of course there are vast blacked-out wheels, too.
For the inside, Cadillac is playing it even more coy. A single image previews the “V” badging on the steering wheel, though we’d expect a fair amount of carbon fiber and Alcantara to feature, based on the other V-Series cars. The Escalade already offers a huge, curved dashboard display and plenty of space across three rows, not to mention a whole host of toys to play with.
As for 2023 Escalade V-Series pricing, there too Cadillac is saving full details. The current model spirals up to over $109k for the standard-length 4WD Sport Platinum trim, and that’s before you head into the options list. A six-figure V-Series is basically guaranteed, then, as Cadillac takes on well-esteemed (and well-equipped) performance SUVs from its German rivals.
Brabus 800 Adventure XLP Superblack is taking it to the extreme
Renowned Mercedes-Benz tuning house Brabus has unleashed its latest creation based on the Mercedes-AMG G63 sport-luxury SUV. It’s the newest variant of the 800 Adventure XLP Superblack, a go-anywhere pickup truck hiding a mighty powerful V8 engine under the hood.
Images: Brabus GmbH
This Airstream eStream concept is an electric camper with an innovative twist
Thor Industries, maker of the Airstream and other popular RVs, recently unveiled the eStream electric camper concept. It’s essentially a hi-tech Airstream travel trailer with some nifty innovations hiding underneath.
Images: Thor Industries
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