Plug-in hybrid Range Rover in the works

The battery-electric SUV will be capable of driving on electricity alone for short distances.

Land Rover is putting the final touches on a plug-in hybrid variant of the luxurious Range Rover, according to British media outlets.

The gasoline-electric Range Rover's main source of power will be a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder tuned to provide 295 horsepower, Autocar reports. The four will work with an electric motor linked to a lithium-ion battery pack mounted right under the trunk floor. The two power sources will spin all four wheels via an automatic transmission.

The hybrid Range Rover will be capable of driving on electricity alone for about 25 miles, meaning it will retain access to busy city centers in China even after officials ban gasoline-powered cars in a bid to curb air pollution. Alternatively, the hybrid drivetrain will propel the behemoth from zero to 60 mph in under six seconds.

Visually, the battery-electric Range will stand out thanks to model-specific lights on both ends, and a redesigned grille believed to incorporate the charging port. Inside, the changes will include a hybrid-only instrument cluster with a gauge that indicates how much juice is left in the battery pack.

Recent spy shots indicate the plug-in hybrid Range Rover is nearly ready for production. Land Rover hasn't revealed when we'll see it, but we wouldn't be surprised if it makes its debut at a major auto show before the year draws to a close. If we're right, it will reach showrooms in time for the 2018 model year.

What's next?

We can't imagine Jaguar - Land Rover would go through the trouble of developing a plug-in hybrid drivetrain exclusively for the Range Rover. It's reasonable to assume the gas-electric setup to find its way into most of JLR's bigger models -- including the XJ -- in the coming years.

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