Land Rover has entered three Concept Range_E 4WD Plug-In Diesel Hybrids in this year’s RAC Future Car Challenge from Brighton to London.

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The concept Land Rover Range_e runs an advanced plug-in hybrid diesel-electric powertrian that the company fully expects to make available after the scheduled launch of its diesel-electric hybrid in 2013.

Based on the Range Rover Sport, the Range_e concept uses the current 3.0 litre TDV6 diesel with the super-smooth eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and a 69 kW electric motor. Its 14.2k/Wh lithium-ion battery can be re-charged by plugging in to a standard home 240V power outlet, although the vehicle itself can be driven on battery power alone for a distance of thirty-two kilometres.

On battery power alone, the Range_e emits zero carbon emissions, while overall, CO2 emissions fall to just 89g/km. It’s a remarkable achievement when you consider the size and weight of the Range Rover Sport, but in a future where grams per kilometre will be equally as important as kilowatts and torque, this is the only way ‘forward’ so to speak.

The object of the event is to drive from Brighton to London using the least amount of fuel possible within the 2hrs 45min minimum time frame.

The Challenge is open to road-legal, concept, development, pre-production and production cars and LCVs (light commercial vehicles) that feature new/alternative low-energy in the following five categories: Pure Electric (EV), Extended-Range/Plug-In Hybrid (E-REV, PHEV), Hybrid (HV, HEV), Hydrogen (HFEV), Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) - up to 110g/km CO2 emission, fuelled by any legal means.