Land Rover sought fit to prove a point that the new Range Rover Hybrid is just as capable as its traditional off-roaders, only a lot more efficient than the normal gas and diesel models. Now that it's also tackled an arduous 10,000-mile trip from Britain to India on the Silk Trail, the company can say its foray in the hybrid arena is the best 4x4 Hybrid by far.
Three prototype versions of the hybrid Rangie left the Solihull factory for Mumbai, home of Jaguar Land Rover parent Tata, on a 53-day excursion that covered 13 countries. That trek included a week at altitudes of that ranged from 11,000 to almost 18,000 feet through China and apparently the cars survived. So a Range Rover Hybrid will probably work well in Aspen, too.
Land Rover says the point of the trip wasn't a PR stunt to test the mechanicals (though let's not put it past them) but to "fine-tune the calibration of engine and transmission software to ensure perfectly seamless performance in all terrains and extreme temperatures and altitudes." Which actually sounds a lot like testing the mechanicals to make sure you're not stranded on the way to the polo match.
The bad news in testing, according to Land Rover, was that there were 15 punctured tires. The good news was that the drivers reported 36-37 mpg with the electric motors and 3.0-liter V6 diesel that powers the Range Rover Hybrids.
We won't get the hybrid models in the U.S., though, because Land Rover doesn't seem to think Americans want fuel efficiency with their Range Rovers. Go figure.
Check out some of the photos from Land Rover's arduous vacation. They got pictures of the local scenery, culture and what I think is a yak.
More photos and info in the press release.
Photos: Land Rover