Land Rover’s newest engine is a 400bhp straight-six
Land Rover sells a lot of diesels. And that’s a problem, when droves of punters are turning their backs on the sticky black stuff for petrol, hybrid and electric power. So, enter the company’s ‘all-new’ straight-six petrol engine, which was developed in-house and will be built at JLR’s £1billion engine plant in Wolverhampton.
For now you can only get it in the Range Rover Sport – more specifically a £80K semi-sporty version called the HST, which gets carbon-fibre trim, red brake calipers and such. That’s it, up there. 395bhp and 406lb ft mean 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds and 140mph, which isn’t half bad for such a heffalump. The supercharged V6 petrol it effectively replaces (but is still available in the Jaguar F-Type) makes 335bhp and 332lb ft.
Key to the new engine is an electric supercharger. It supports a conventional twin-scroll turbo, and can spool up to 120,000rpm in just half a second to “virtually eliminate turbo-lag”, says Land Rover. And of course this is a mild-hybrid drivetrain, which means you get a little electric motor/battery to augment acceleration and improve efficiency. Land Rover claims 30.5mpg and 213g/km, but that’s using the old NEDC emissions tests. Either way, you still get drive to all-four wheels through the same eight-speed automatic gearbox as before.
You can order a RRS HST with the new engine right now. We’ll get ourselves a go very soon, so you know whether or not it’s any good before you sign on the line.