Range Rovers and diesels share a long and storied past together in just about every part of the world except the U.S. Thanks to stringent emissions standards and a general negative public opinion, diesels have yet to swim the pond – that is, until now. Land Rover has announced it will begin selling its updated Td6 turbodiesel within the States, inside both the Range Rover and its little brother, the Range Rover Sport.

Credit can be given to better emissions controls for a public opinion that’s undergoing a slow transformation in the acceptance of compression-ignition engines.

While the Td6 diesel is new to the States, the Range Rover Sport carries over from last year. Introduced for the 2013 model year, the second generation Range Rover Sport offers a more nimble ride yet still carries more than 60 years of heritage in its design. Like its big brother, the Sport utilizes an all-aluminum chassis to shed weight and add rigidity.

Of course, the three-row SUV comes with Land Rover’s famed Terrain Response 2 system, allowing the driver to tailor the suspension, drivetrain, and peripheral systems to whatever terrain might be under the tires.

The most important aspect – at least in this bit of news – is the new turbodiesel. Range Rover says the new V-6 offers a 32-percent improvement in fuel economy over the supercharged gasoline V-6, making the unofficial numbers equate to 25 mpg combined. The Td6 will begin appearing under Range Rover hoods starting Fall 2015.

UPDATE 05/27/2015: A leaked document suggests the Range Rover Sport Td6 will start at $66,450 – just $1,500 more than the 3.0-liter V-6 gas version. Details in the Prices section.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Range Rover Sport Td6.

  • Year:
    2016
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    8-speed electronically controlled automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    254
  • Torque @ RPM:
    440 @ 1750
  • Energy:
    turbodiesel
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.1 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, AWD w/ Low Range
  • Price:
    68000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior

Some 2014 models shown
Despite having a new powerplant under its bonnet, the Range Rover Sport still wears the same clothing. Still fresh from its 2013 introduction, the 2016 RRS remains a handsome SUV. It shares many of the same design cues as the larger Range Rover, such as the sloping rear roofline; rounded wheel arches; and strong belt line running from headlight to taillight.

Interior

2014 model shown
The same story continues on the inside as well. Nothing new here to see, save for the lower rev count on the tachometer. The interior continues to remain one of the best-looking and well-sorted interiors in the business – at least in the SUV segment. A full TFT gauge cluster, large touch screen infotainment system, and intuitive, aluminum-lined controls make the cabin a welcoming and high-tech environment.

The center console is home to the Terrain Response system with its rotary dial and ancillary switchgear. Fine leather covers nearly every surface with real wood and aluminum covering the rest.

Drivetrain

Here is where the news lives. Range Rover’s newest engine is the Td6, a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel that is rated at 254 horsepower and an impressive 440 pound-feet of torque available starting at 1,750 rpm. The engine block is constructed from Compact Graphite Iron with a deep-skirted, cross-bolted design that includes a structural, one-piece aluminum oil sump. This adds strength and lightness over conventional iron blocks while keeping things much lighter.

Keeping tailpipe emissions in check is a Selective Catalytic Reduction system that uses Diesel Exhaust Fluid to reduce NOx levels. This helps the new turbodiesel pass the strict LEV 3 requirements in the U.S. Added to the mix is a Low Pressure EGR system that recalculates lower pressure exhaust gasses picked up after the DEF filter, sending it to the turbocharger inlet. This results in lower air temperatures entering the engine. The engine also makes use of a variable pressure oil pump for reduced parasitic losses.

Like the gasoline engines, the Td6 is backed by the ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.

Despite only having 254 horsepower, the engine still motivates the RRS to 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds. When not at the drag strip, the projected fuel economy sits at 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. That’s not bad for a midsized SUV with the on- and off-road capabilities the Range Rover Sport boasts.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Longitudinal V6, 24 valve, four OHC, direct injection diesel, single turbocharger
Displacement 2993 cc (182.6 cu. In.)
Bore x Stroke 84.0 x 90.0 mm
Valvetrain DOHC / 4 valves per cylinder
Emissions US LEV III
Maximum Power 254hp
Maximum Torque 440 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
Transmission ZF® 8-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with CommandShift™ (Normal, Sport and Manual shift modes); locking torque converter
EPA Estimated Fuel Economy 22 mpg city / 28 mpg highway (25 mpg combined)
Fuel Tank Capacity 23.5 gallons
Maximum Range 658 miles
0-60 mph 7.1 seconds
Top Speed 130mph

Prices

2014 model shown
Updated 05/27/2015 Official-looking information has leaked onto the Land Rover enthusiast forum OvalNews.com showing details of pricing for the Td6 version of the Range Rover Sport. The starting price for the 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel is listed as $66,450. That’s a nominal increase of just $1,500 over the starting price of the 3.0-liter gasoline-powered V-6.

That $1,500 up-charge can be categorized as “nominal” when compared to other luxury SUVs’ pricing schemes. The Volkswagen Touareg diesel costs an additional $3,500 over the gas version, while the Jeep Grand Cherokee costs a whopping $4,500 more than the standard V-6 version, despite the Jeep’s lower overall cost. Only Mercedes’ GL350 BlueTEC has a lower buy-in price. In fact, Mercedes actually charges less for the diesel than the gasoline engine.

Competition

Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTEC

Mercedes already offers a diesel version of its popular GL-Class. The 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 puts down similar numbers to Land Rover’s new unit: 240 horses and 455 pound-feet of torque. The EPA rates the GL350 BlueTEC at 26 mpg highway, coming in two mpg under the estimated mileage of the RRS

Prices for the GL-Class start at $63,600 and goes north with options.

Porsche Cayenne Diesel

Like the Mercedes, Porsche has been offering a diesel variant of its SUV for some time now. Also similar is the engine size. Porsche’s diesel is a 3.0-liter V-6 making 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Despite its torque disadvantage, the Cayenne still hits 60 mph in 7.1 seconds.

Prices begin at a comparatively inexpensive $61,700.

Conclusion

2014 model shown
Land Rover customers in the U.S. will surely be happy about the addition of a diesel powerplant – if not for the extra torque, great for off-roading – then for the estimated 28 mpg highway fuel economy. Sure, spending $80k on an SUV isn’t the most frugal purchase in the world, but Land Rover owners will likely enjoy the fuel savings at the pump. Not to mention the three-percent increases driving range that now totals 658 miles between fill-ups.

Look for the Td6-powered Range Rover Sport to hit dealerships in the fall of 2015.

  • Leave it
    • Unproven Range Rover diesel sales in the U.S.
    • Will likely be expensive-

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Press Release

Land Rover will offer consumers the option of fuel efficient diesel powertrains in two 2016 model year luxury SUVs, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. The Range Rover Td6 and Range Rover Sport Td6 SUVs will deliver 25 miles per gallon combined, a 32 percent improvement over the supercharged V6, and reach a high of 28 miles per gallon on the highway.

The two new luxury diesel SUVs debuted at the 2015 North American International Auto Show and go on sale Fall 2015.

Land Rover has employed a combination of new and proven innovative technologies to bring North American customers an engine with exceptional refinement, efficiency and performance.

The 3.0-liter Td6 turbocharged V6 diesel engine delivers effortless performance thanks to 254 horsepower and a low-end torque output of 440 lb-ft. Peak torque arrives at 1,750rpm in the Td6 while the gasoline V6 produces its 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) at 3,500 rpm. This high torque output at low RPM, makes the diesel Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models particularly well suited to towing heavy loads and off-roading where reaching maximum torque at low RPM is extremely beneficial.

Similarly, the low-end torque of the Td6 allows the vehicles to deliver 0-60 acceleration times comparable to the higher horsepower V6 gasoline models. The Range Rover Sport Td6 and Range Rover Td6 accelerate from 0-60mph in 7.1 and 7.4 seconds respectively, compared to 6.9 and 7.1 seconds for gasoline V6 models.

Preliminary fuel economy figures for the Range Rover Sport and Range Rover of 22 mpg (city), 28 mpg (highway) and 25 mpg (combined) represent significant gains over traditional gasoline alternatives. The combined figure equates to a 32 percent improvement over the gasoline V6 engine. Total range increases to 658 miles, a gain of 8.0% for the Range Rover Sport and 3.3% for the Range Rover.

These improvements underline a dedication to meeting and exceeding the expectations of luxury SUV consumers. Both the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport have seen significant advancement in fuel efficiency, safety, and design. As part of a complete model redesign for the 2013 and 2014 model years, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport respectively, have moved to all-aluminum platforms, gained the option of V6 engines and have had significant design changes in an effort to continuously improve Land Rover product offerings. With the addition of Td6, we are advancing these vehicles even further.

Designed from the ground up, the Td6 provides efficiency and refinement. Its block is constructed using Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI), which has a higher tensile strength than standard grey cast iron, better fatigue strength than aluminum, and added stiffness. Its overall advantages in weight and strength mean the block can be lighter and smaller which make it compact in size. The deep-skirted, cross-bolted design and one-piece structural aluminum oil sump of the Td6 help the engine to absorb combustion noise effectively which improves refinement.

Prior to its introduction in the US, improvements have been made to the Td6 helping to achieve an additional eight percent increase in overall fuel efficiency. These include the addition of a water-cooled turbocharger for maximum performance and durability at high operating temperatures; and new ball bearings, vanes and nozzles to improve efficiency.

A Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system uses Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) to reduce NOx emissions, ensuring the Td6 achieves US LEV 3 status. The DEF is injected into the exhaust and, as the resulting mixture passes through the SCR, NOx is turned into harmless nitrogen gas.

The reservoir for the DEF is located in two areas, the main is under the floor with the secondary located under the hood. Combined they hold enough fluid for approximately 10,000 miles. Diesel exhaust fluid is commercially available and owners can top the fluid level up themselves or take it to their nearest Land Rover dealer if the reservoir needs replenishing.

In addition to the cleansing efficiency of the SCR, every aspect of the Td6 engine has been optimized to ensure emissions are as low as possible. This includes the new Low Pressure EGR system which has been critical to success of Td6 emission ratings and further improves fuel economy.

Unlike traditional High Pressure EGR systems, which recirculate gases directly from the exhaust manifold to inlet manifold at high pressure, the revised design takes gases at low pressure - after the DPF filter in the exhaust pipe - and feeds them back to the turbocharger inlet. From here they pass through an intercooler, resulting in a lower peak combustion temperature.

The higher the peak combustion temperature, the more NOx is produced, so the low pressure EGR system has the effect of reducing the harmful emissions contained by exhaust gases, by lowering the peak combustion temperature and improving efficiency.

Elsewhere, a two-stage oil pump reduces engine losses while a revised design for the fuel-injectors has been introduced to improve efficiency and reduce hydrocarbon emissions. The injection cycle also employs an innovative two-stage process to eliminate the traditional ’knock’ associated with diesel engines.

Attention to detail ensures diesel derivatives deliver traditional Range Rover refinement. Innovative dual-isolation engine mounts, as well as windshields featuring a special acoustic laminate, help reduce noise levels. Refinement on Range Rover models is further enhanced by the design of the bulkhead between the engine and vehicle interior, which minimizes the transmission of engine noise into the cabin.

The fuel filler neck on diesel Land Rover vehicles is fitted with a misfueling protection device. This device will prevent the narrower gasoline fuel nozzle fitted to gasoline pumps from being inserted into the filler neck on the vehicle, reducing the likelihood of adding the wrong fuel.

Tested and Proven in the USA

The latest Td6 diesel has been tested extensively to ensure it meets the expectations of US buyers. Early in the development process Land Rover conducted test drive clinics with premium SUV buyers to determine whether customers would notice a difference between the driving feel of diesel versus gasoline models.

Without informing participants that they’d be driving diesel models, the Land Rover team gathered feedback using in-vehicle video and audio recordings, data loggers and post-drive interviews. The results of the program were conclusive; consumers participating in testing clinics in major US cities could not identify if they were driving a diesel vehicle during a 30-minute test drive.

Land Rover engineers embarked on US testing schedule to ensure the new diesel engine could handle all US climate and terrain conditions. By the time US sales have begun, the test fleet will have completed one million test miles.

The test fleet has targeted the most extreme climates and diverse terrains imaginable across the US. The new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport diesel have navigated from sea level to altitudes of 14,000 feet during the grueling test program. To meet the unique demands of the North American climate, engineers have undertaken testing year round, from the coldest winter days in Minnesota, to summertime in the deserts of the Southwest.

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