At the national launch of the Land Rover Defender, Jaguar Land Rover India’s President and Managing Director, Rohit Suri, confirmed the launch of the Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV for early next year. The I-Pace’s India launch is planned within the first three months of next year, he said.
Talking further about electric and hybrid vehicles, Mr. Suri said the brand plans to bring the Land Rover Defender Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) to the country as well, though he did not attach a timeline to it.
The Land Rover Defender Hybrid (PHEV) was announced by the company last month, and is yet to go on sale in its launch market in the UK yet. Reports say it should be available to order by the end of this year, with deliveries starting early next year, indicating that the earliest JLR India could launch the Defender PHEV in the country would be towards mid-2021.
Aside from the Defender, Land Rover offers a plug-in hybrid variant on all its products save for the Discovery. Based on customer demand, the company could expand its PHEV range in India as well. The Evoque and Discovery Sport Mild Hybrid (MHEV) variants are already sold in India.
Coming back to the Defender Hybrid, the variant is offered in a single P400e trim. It uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine combined with an electric motor to develop 404 PS, and a pure electric range of 43 km. Land Rover claims the Defender P400e PHEV will hit 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds, and deliver 30.3 km/l (combined efficiency) with CO2 emissions of only 74 g/km. The all electric range can be used during off-roading using High and Low range modes.
The Land Rover Defender Hybrid is announced only for the larger, 110 body variant, and the 3-door Defender is solely available with petrol or diesel power. A 19.2 kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged using a 7 kW AC wall box or DC fast charging. A 0-80 per cent charge takes 2 hours with the former and 30 minutes with the latter.
The Defender range was launched in India this week with prices starting at INR 73.98 lakhs for the Defender 90 (3-door) and INR 79.94 lakhs for the Defender 110 (5-door). All variants get a 296 hp 2.0-liter petrol engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. We expect the Defender P400e PHEV to be priced at a premium of around INR 15 lakhs over the petrol variant when the launch takes place next year.
The Land Rover Defender Hybrid would target Indian buyers who are not convinced entirely about the practicality of an electric car. The PHEV would then become a bridge to their first pure electric car as they get to experience an EV without the risk of range anxiety or dependence on the country’s charging infrastructure.