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Rivian R1S beater? Why the Range Rover Electric could be the best off-roader the British brand has ever made

Range Rover has given very few hints about its upcoming electric model.

Range Rover is synonymous for building luxury SUVs with powerful engines and off-road prowess. So how does that fit into an electric future? 

According to one senior management figure, there’s no reason why the upcoming Range Rover Electric can’t be the best model the company has ever produced, both in terms of luxury and off-road performance. 

Speaking to CarsGuide at the recent launch of the high-performance Range Rover Sport SV, Ryan Miller, Range Rover’s Global Marketing and Services Director, revealed the company has received more than 18,000 expressions of interest for the upcoming model, which isn’t expected to be revealed until later this year.

Range Rover hasn’t released too many technical details about the new model, but what we do know is that it will be built on the same platform as the current Range Rover, which was engineered with an EV powertrain in mind. That also means it will be an extension of the current Range Rover line-up, rather than a standalone model.

But despite the flood of initial interest, Miller said the company will take a slow and steady approach to its transition to electrification and has modest sales hopes for this initial offering.

“Yeah, it eventually becomes a volume product, absolutely not in the short and medium term,” Miller said. “But eventually, there is a tipping point in every market, we believe. With electrification, we think that's the right propulsion solution, that's why we’ve invested heavily in that.”

He believes the demand for the electric Range Rover will be primarily driven by where buyers live, with the more mature EV markets, such as Europe and the USA, expected to lead the charge, rather than Australia. But he’s confident that the significant torque and quiet operation of the electric motors will appeal to Range Rover buyers around the world.

“It's very geographic,” Miller explained. “If you believe the data, because no-one really knows how it's going to play out, but if you believe the data, it's quite geographic. And if you think about the people we know, there are those that have already adopted electric and there are those that you could never see adopting electric, right?

Range Rover is synonymous for building luxury SUVs with powerful engines and off-road prowess.

“Yeah, it's not niche. It might be a sort of shallow mix to start with, but if you think about 18,000 expressions of interest.  What do our Range Rover clients want? They want the technology.  They want near silent travel. There's no reason why an electric Range Rover actually can't be the best Range Rover we've ever made.”

Off-road capability is an obvious focal point for Range Rover and an equally obvious challenge for EVs, especially in a country as sparsely populated as Australia. However, Miller said the company sees it as an opportunity rather than a problem, as electric motors will open up a new way of creating off-road capability.

“Range anxiety is going to be a big consideration, particularly for first-time purchasers. And I think the EV adoption rate will depend heavily on the infrastructure speed of development,” he admitted. 

“Does EV create more barriers for off-road performance? It makes it harder but it liberates [at the same time]. If you think about it, you go from zero to maximum torque in a split second. And if you can control that torque and get that power down to each individual wheel with split second control, you can create something very special.

"So we've got some pretty inventive off-road engineers  in our team, as you can imagine. And they're hugely proud of the heritage that they've created. So we're working very hard to be very inventive on that front.”

Stephen Ottley
Contributing Journalist
Steve has been obsessed with all things automotive for as long as he can remember. Literally, his earliest memory is of a car. Having amassed an enviable Hot Wheels and...
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