Only after the successful launch of the revived Defender, the number of orders to which already far exceeds the forecasts, JLR returned to profit last year, in accordance with the recovery plan “Project Charge”.
The engineers and designers at the British firm has now shifted its focus to what can bring more profits: third generation SUV Range Rover Sport. It is expected that rival the third-generation Porsche Cayenne will stick to the style of the current model. It will use more electrified powertrains and a range of improved technologies, as well as retain the perfect balance of luxury and dynamic ability, which is famous both previous models.
Today’s Range Rover Sport will celebrate its seventh birthday in March, and this year he will get a slight upgrade with the addition of a mild hybrid powertrain.
Under normal circumstances, a seven year old car would be close to the end of his life, but the massive engineering work on the introduction of a new hybrid platform MLA “three in one” slowed down the deployment of the new company.
Before Ford sold Land Rover in 2008, across the industry there were rumors that Mk1 Sport has provided the greatest profit for the company Ford. However, the current Mk2 Sport really changed the fate of JLR, as this model has surpassed the Range Rover, and its sales peaked at 80,000 copies per year. Land Rover, like most of the automakers declined to disclose the average price of purchased Mk2 Sport, but even relatively conservative 80 000 pounds each will bring the company annual revenue of 6.4 billion pounds.
To maintain this success in the future, the key fundamental element for the new model is the management, which contradicts its size and weight, as this has been achieved with versions of the first and second generation. The style is also crucial. It is expected that the third generation Range Rover Sport will not repeat the huge transition from Mk1 to Mk2. As in the case of Discovery, too radical changes in the formula will be a big risk.
Create a new Sport with a best-in-class handling should not be a big problem, considering the transition to the new hybrid platform MLA. The first new car of this architecture will XJ EV battery-powered, which, according to JLR, will be presented after March.
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Few specific details have emerged on the platform of the MLA. It is mainly made of aluminum and be much lighter than the previous aluminum platform D series, which led to the fact that the cars were often not easier competitors with a steel platform. As with all new competing architectures from BMW and Mercedes, MLA will allow JLR to produce on the same production line soft hybrid, hybrid, and pure electric versions of the same model.