Previously, we’ve talked about why premium brands like Volvo and BMW use 3-cylinder engines in their cars. Now, Jaguar Land Rover has joined the gang by introducing a new plug-in hybrid powertrain with a 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine.
The 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine is the smallest in the Ingenium range, it sends 200 PS/280 Nm to the front wheels through a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Similar to Volvo’s T8 system, the electric motor mounted on the rear axle powers the rear wheels, making it AWD.
Combined with the combustion engine, the hybrid system produces a total output of 309 PS and 540 Nm of torque.
The engine itself is a 48V mild-hybrid unit, featuring a belt-integrated starter-generator unit. It recharges the hybrid battery and allows a smoother engine stop-start operation.
It uses a brake-by-wire system, which replaces the traditional brake vacuum servo, to combine regenerative and friction braking in a seamless manner, providing a more consistent pedal feel.
The hardware for the hybrid system is packaged beneath the cabin floor without compromising interior space. There is a 6 mm thick steel undertray that shields the battery for added protection when going off-road.
First models to get the plug-in hybrid powertrain are the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport. 0-100 km/h takes 6.4 seconds in the Evoque and 6.6 seconds in the Discovery Sport. Both can reach up 135 km/h on electric power alone.
Land Rover claims the Evoque can achieve a fuel consumption figure of 1.4L/100 km and the Discovery Sport delivers 1.6L/100 km. The Evoque is able to travel up to 66 km on pure electric driving while the Discovery Sport manages up to 62 km.
In Malaysia, it is unlikely for Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia to introduce any hybrid models since there are no local assembly operations here to benefit from tax incentives.
Meanwhile, second generation Range Rover Evoque was slated to launch this year but like many other businesses, plans have been affected. Though a 2020 launch is still possible.