The first diesel hybrid cars for sale in China will be an extended wheelbase Range Rover and a Range Rover Sport, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) announced today.
China is a key market for JLR, and sales in China have been excellent of late, with a 39% jump from January 2013 to January 2014.
In a press release, Land Rover said it sees China as “a potentially strong market for its new premium hybrids,” and that the long wheelbase will appeal to Chinese taste for large interiors.
In a January interview at the Detroit Auto Show, Jaguar Land Rover North America President Andy Goss told Business Insider that moving into China offered “the chance to create a fresh impression.”
In Europe and the U.S., Jaguar’s old reputation for unreliable cars has been hard to shed. It even became a “Mad Men” plot point when a character tried to commit suicide by breathing the exhaust from his E-Type, but couldn’t get the car to start.
The Range Rover Hybrid Long Wheelbase, which made its global debut at the Beijing Auto Show, is powered by a 3.0-liter diesel engine and a 35kW electric motor, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Land Rover says the new powertrain doesn’t compromise performance or space inside the vehicle (hybrid batteries take up lots of space).
Diesel hybrid cars are rare compared to gasoline hybrids, but work in basically the same way: An electric motor boosts the performance of an internal combustion engine, increasing range and reducing fuel consumption.
Deliveries of the new Range Rover will start by the end of the year.
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