Whitley, 19 February 2015: Land Rover has teamed up with Airstream on an adventure to the Arctic Circle to demonstrate the capabilities of the new Range Rover Sport Hybrid. The world’s first premium diesel hybrid towed the 2.5 tonne travel trailer 2,500 miles to Land Rover’s cold-weather test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, then on to the Arctic Circle.
In a dramatic real world test of the vehicle’s capability, the car was towing the 13.1m long rig through some of the worst winter weather Scandinavia has experienced in living memory. Gales, record snow depths and freak icy road conditions tested crew, car and trailer to the extreme.
More European Airstream owners choose Land Rover products to tow their ‘silver bullets’ than cars from any other manufacturer so the Range Rover Sport Hybrid and Airstream made an excellent match.
Setting off from Land Rover’s Design and Engineering Centre at Gaydon in the English Midlands, the team headed to Mengerskirchen in Germany, where a specially winterised travel trailer was waiting for them at Airstream Europe’s headquarters.
Top of Airstream’s European range of trailers, the 684 is 8.25m of boutique hotel suite on wheels, with two double beds, satellite television and Corian surfaces in both its fully-equipped kitchen and spacious bathroom. Thus specified, and once the team had packed their kit on board, the Airstream weighed in at more than 2.5 tonnes. For the Range Rover Sport Hybrid, that sort of weight proved no problem, whatever the weather did.
Throughout, the Range Rover Sport Hybrid demonstrated its astonishing towing prowess. Land Rover has applied for 20 patents for the Vehicle Supervisory Control system that manages the operation of the hybrid powertrain and its sophistication enables the electric motor’s 170Nm of torque to be blended in seamlessly, and contributes to a mighty 700Nm of vehicle torque. This delivers even stronger and more precisely controllable performance, which proved itself very useful, time after time, when towing this large and heavy load through such extreme weather.