Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery plug-in hybrids hit the road

Land Rover has launched two new plug-in hybrid models, bringing electrification to its Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque line-ups.

The pair of compact SUVs join the 48V mild hybrid versions of the Evoque and Discovery Sport, as well as the plug-in hybrid versions of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

Sharing the same platform and drivetrain, the Evoque PHEV and Discovery Sport PHEV promise an all-electric range of up to 41 miles, economy of more than 200mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 32g/km to help bring them into more wallet-friendly tax brackets.

Badged as P300e, the Evoque starts at £43,850 and the Discovery Sport at £45,370. Evoque trims include S, SE and HSE in standard or R-Dynamic guise while the Discovery Sport is available in R-Dynamic S, SE and HSE specifications.

Powering both cars is a three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine paired with a 80kW electric motor integrated into the rear axle. Combined output for the four-wheel-drive system is a healthy 305bhp, meaning 0-60mph takes just 6.1 seconds for the Evoque and 6.2 seconds for the Discovery Sport.

Both models can reach up to 84mph under electric power alone, after which the motor decouples to reduce drag and aid economy.

The electric rear axle drive is powered by a 15kWh battery stored beneath the rear seats. In the Evoque this is said to offer up to 41 miles of pure electric driving while in the slightly larger Discovery Sport the EV-only range is 38 miles. As with most hybrids, selectable drive modes let the driver choose between pure-electric running, an automated hybrid that combines the petrol and electric motors as required, and a battery saver mode which uses only the petrol engine in order to preserve charge.

Cleverly, if you enter a route into the sat nav, the cars will use GPS data to determine the most efficient use of the hybrid system to maximise efficiency.

Charging via the 7kW on-board system takes between 30 minutes on a 32kW DC rapid charger and just under seven hours on a three-pin socket. A standard home AC wallbox will replenish the battery in around an hour and a half.

Official testing puts the Evoque’s WLTP figures at up to 201.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 32g/km, meaning a benefit in kind tax rate of six per cent for certain derivatives. The Discovery Sport can’t quite match that, with economy of 175.5mpg and emissions of 36g/km, which combined with its shorter EV range means a 10 per cent BIK rate.

Both cars are compatible with Land Rover’s InControl Remote smartphone app, which allows owners to monitor and control the car’s charging, setting a start or finish time as well as preconditioning the cabin temperature ahead of a journey.

The Range Rover Evoque PHEV and Land Rover Discovery Sport PHEV are both available to order now.