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Land Rover Defender gets its own P400e plug-in hybrid model

(Pocket-lint) – The new Land Rover Defender is only just starting to appear on roads and a new powertrain has been announced, with a familiar name – P400e.

It’s familiar because that’s the same moniker you’ll find in other vehicles from the family, such as the Range Rover Sport P400e. The numbering refers to the overall power output, with the combined petrol engine and electric motor putting out 404PS.

That’s thanks to a 2-litre petrol engine and 105kW electric motor. We’ve seen this system before in the Range Rover Sport, so we have a fairly good sense of how it’s going to behave in the Defender. Importantly, you don’t lose anything, you still have the same on and offroad capabilities – with the motor able to add additional torque for offroading or to aid accelleration on the road.

You can drive for up to 27 miles in pure electric mode. That’s about the average for a plug-in hybrid of this type, but here you can use that when offroading too as you’ll still get full all-wheel drive power from it.

Most people will take advantage of the hybrid setup to lower emissions, with Land Rover saying that you’ll get around 85mpg and CO2 as low as 74g/km when the hybrid setup is being used to its full potential. There’s impressive acceleration too, with a 0-62mph time of 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 130mph.

Some of the efficiencies come from recuperation on braking, meaning you’re not losing that energy during stop-start driving. The motor will assist when you put your foot down, adding the additional instant power that electric cars are known for.

The downside will come for those drivers wanting to travel long distance on motorways, where the additional weight of that battery that will soon become drained will be likely to count against you. If long distance motoring is all you’re going to do, the diesel is still probably more efficient in the long run.

But for those suburban dwellers who feel they need a Defender in their life – and who wouldn’t given how good looking this beast is – the plug-in hybrid will assuage some of that big-car guilt. It will support fast charging at 50kW too, meaning that a quick top-up in the Waitrose car park could see you motoring short range on battery only.

It’s a 19.2kWh battery and it comes with the Mode 3 charging cable (that’s the one for most public chargers), while a Mode 2 cable is an optional extra for domestic socket charging.

There’s a hefty price tag on the Defender P400e however. It’s only available on the 110, it’s not available on the cheapest trim level, so you’re looking at a £64,800 starting price. That is, however, a little cheaper than the Range Rover Sport with the same engine, so comparatively, it looks like you’re getting more car for your money.

Writing by Chris Hall.

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