“Electrification” has become a prominent buzz word in the auto industry these days. British luxury brand Land Rover doesn’t have a presence in that segment yet but that could change soon, thanks to a report indicating the company is considering a battery-powered Range Rover model. Autocar is reporting that an electric Range Rover is under strong consideration and could take the form of an entirely new, low-roofed, crossover model instead of a battery-powered version of the existing Range Rover.

Jaguar Land Rover group engineering director Wolfgang Ziebart didn’t go into specifics, but hinted that Land Rover could have a potential market on its hands for wealthy families looking to buy a “second or third car." Zeibart’s comments were echoed by Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern, who indicated that the brand’s current expansion plans could include “incredibly luxurious, low-slung” Range Rovers, one of which could be packaged as a purely electric vehicle.

But those plans come with certain caveats, and pretty significant ones if it were to progress forward. One challenge is to build a smaller model that has a smaller frontal area and the other challenge would be that the model would have to rival the Tesla Model S’s 265-mile range. Failing to do both would make it difficult for the company to justify building an electric model, let alone one that uses the current aerodynamic profile of the Range Rover.

The Range Rover’s current aluminum-monocoque architecture will be the basis of the model, but it would be modified significantly to accommodate the needs of a battery pack. There’s also the possibility that the model will use the same suspension of the Jaguar CX-17 while also benefiting from an all-wheel-drive system and possibly a road-based setup that allows it to improve its aerodynamic capabilities and preserve the range of the battery pack.

The last condition being thrown out is the price. An electric Range Rover will likely cost north of £90,000 ($140,753 as of 10/31/2014), which could prove to be too steep even for wealthy and discerning customers. The company plans to offset that by giving these customers a powerful model with high standard spec numbers.

Note: Land Rover Range Rover pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about Land Rover Range Rover Electric.

Why It Matters

Land Rover’s decision to venture into electric crossovers poses an inherent risk. But if it’s serious about its plans for expansion, an electric Range Rover, or at least a variant of it, has the potential to be a successful model, especially if Land Rover develops it correctly.

The industry is shifting to electric models these days and if Land Rover can pull off an electric Range Rover without investing too much to its development, it could have a vehicle that markets like China and America may pick up in bunches.

These markets can afford to pay premium for an electric-powered Range Rover, that is if Land Rover decides to pursue developing one.

Competitors

Tesla Model X

2012 Tesla Model X Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Land Rover is using the Tesla Model S as its benchmark, but an electric Range Rover is likely to face competition from the Model X crossover.

Development of the Model X has been going on for the past couple of years now, but it wasn’t until July 2014 when reports indicated the electric crossover would hit production in late 2014. Tesla is even accepting reservations for the Model X and has even indicated that deliveries of the crossover are expected to begin in a year’s time.

It remains to be seen how far Tesla will go in using the Model X Concept’s design as the basis for the production model, but there have been strong indications that the crossover will carry the same battery pack as the Model S. If that’s the case, we can expect it to have the standard 60kWH battery pack that produces 380 horsepower and has a driving range of around 208 miles and the performance-oriented 85kWH battery pack that has 376 horsepower with a driving range of about 265 miles.

Source: AutoCar

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