Review: Range Rover Sport P400e (Hybrid)

I have driven every Range Rover I can think of, except the Range Rover sport P400e and honestly, I always thought that the car was overrated because people love it so much. Personally, I love the Velar, I think that car is perfect. I have driven the Range Rover Vogue as well, which is in a league of extraordinary cars, it’s not for everyone and I get that. When the people of Jaguar Land Rover dropped off the latest Range Rover Sport PHEV, I was really interested because who wouldn’t be, it’s a Range Rover Sport P400e, but it’s also electric.

The first thing you notice about the car is that it’s very silent, like any other hybrid, even when it’s turned on, it doesn’t sound like the car is on until you step on the accelerator and the car moves. Also, you will notice that the car will show you the battery life of the car, which is really cool – similar idea of charging your car as you would your phone. What I appreciate about this car is that it’s not fully electric, therefore you will not get battery anxiety like I did when I was driving the BMW i3s. 

When Range Rover released this design, I was really happy about it because I really didn’t like the previous design, it looked out of proportion to the design eye, specially the back. On this release, they fixed that and also added some new features that make the car even sexier than before. The front headlights got an update as well, which you can tell follows the design language of the Velar, which in my humble opinion is the perfect Range Rover out there. The exterior of the latest Range Rover makes sense now, its muscular stance and flowing lines are where they need to be, the back looks sexy and it still has that presence of what a luxury SUV should have. The PHEV doesn’t dilute the design cues. Since we are driving the electric version the main engine is at the front and the battery is tucked away at the back under the boot. The charging port is by the grill, which I found interesting that Range Rover decided to have it there, I think it’s really cool. You get the glass sunroof, tinted windows for the back and a good-looking car if we are being honest about it. A dramatic, modern feel is completed by the wraparound LED headlights with front and rear Animated Directional Indicators. This powerful, athletic vehicle is now more compelling than ever.

I love what they have done with the signature cockpit which has been extensively reimagined; every element meticulously designed and beautifully executed. Intuitive controls include the SportShift Selector gear lever, providing the option of manual gear shifting, and flush touch-sensitive steering wheel switches. The sense of luxury and innovation is reinforced by the revolutionary Touch Pro Duo technology, which incorporates two 10″ Touchscreens as standard. 

I dream of living in a house that is off the grid and the Range Rover Sport P400e would make sense for that lifestyle. The battery can be fully charged in as little as 7.5 hours using the home charging cable, which will give you about 51 KM. When rapid charging, a full charge can be achieved in as little as 2.75 hours at home using a dedicated wall box or 32 amp industrial-type socket, or at a range of public charging points using a public charging cable. For charging away from home, the cable can be stored in the vehicle’s loadspace using a purpose-designed storage case and retention system. Or you can go to the nearest Jaguar Land Rover and charge there which is really faster than doing it at home with a plug socket. 

In Parallel Hybrid Mode (the default driving mode), the electric motor supplies its power in parallel with the engine. There is a seamless transition between the 105kW electric motor and the Si4 Ingenium Petrol engine, as the system smoothly starts the engine and then blends electric motor and petrol engine power together, using the hybrid integrated transmission. Intelligent battery management, which charges the battery through regenerative braking and even when the vehicle is coasting, ensures the P400e always has sufficient charge to provide 297kW power output, to deliver seamlessly impressive performance when required. 

Key Features
You can pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin without starting the engine before you get into the vehicle, and still retain a full electric range, making life that bit more comfortable.

Working in conjunction with InControl, PHEV owners will be able to see charging points highlighted on the given route. The system also details the most efficient routes accounting for both gradient and terrain. This is all shown on the upper Touchscreen.



Photography & Motion: Jeff Rikhotso