Land Rover is taking fuel economy concerns with a stiff upper lip and a cup of tea, relaxed as it starts taking UK orders for its 45 mpg 2015 Range Rover SDV6 Hybrid flagship starting in September 2013. The first customer deliveries are expected in early 2014, wearing far fewer off-road accessories and prepared for a life of luxury.
This pair of test prototypes is enduring the opposite of luxury: a 10,000-mile durability journey from Land Rover headquarters in England to Tata Group ’s home base in Mumbai. Called the Silk Trail 2013 experience, the plucky Brits seem to have forgotten their own maritime excellence, and the blue part of the map that has long been the best passage to India.
Calling it the Silk Trail is more accurate than its other description, the Silk Road. Mud up to the door mirrors cannot stop the Range Rover Hybrid’s mission.
Going over land is a bold undertaking, and also highlights the production 2015 Range Rover Hybrid’s fuel economy and off-road credentials along the way. Arriving in Mumbai around 55 days later, taking a brand new Range Rover into dozens of foreign countries along the way is certainly a vote of confidence in its reliability - long a sore spot for this advanced machine.
A 3.0-liter diesel engine is paired with a jumbo 35kWh Li-ion battery pack, which is fully production-ready and will also be rolled out on the seven-seat 2015 Range Rover Sport SDV6 Hybrid as well.
The diesel-electric power is not exactly peachy news for U.S. Range Rover devotees, but the technology package should work well with Land Rover ’s new 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 as well.
Updated 09/13/2013: When Land Rover launched the first details on the Range Rover Hybrid everyone believed it will be an European-only model. However, in a recent interview Andy Goss, the current CEO of Jaguar Land Rover USA confirmed that a North American version of the Range Rover hybrid "It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when.’" (LeftLaneNews)
Click past the jump for all the high-res images of this jungle-prepped ’Silk Road 2013’ test of the forthcoming 2015 Range Rover SDV6 Hybrid.