Jaguar Land Rover has developed a new straight-six engine with forced induction from both a twin-scroll turbocharger and an electric supercharger.
The pioneering combo is being introduced in a limited edition Range Rover Sport HST with a mild-hybrid (MHEV) powertrain, and promises to be ‘more responsive and better balanced than the previous V6 petrol’.
Built in JLR’s Wolverhampton engine factory, the 3.0-litre Ingenium engine develops 406lb ft (550Nm) torque and 394bhp (400PS), almost identical output to the 4.2-litre supercharged AJ-V8 that powered some of the first Range Rover Sports from 2005.
How have they managed it?
Unlike a conventional supercharger that spools up in proportion to crankshaft speed, the Sport’s electric supercharger responds to throttle input and can spin to 120,000rpm in half a second. With minimal lag, and bolstered by a twin-scroll turbocharger, Continuous Variable Valve Lift, and an electric motor, the new system reaches 60mph from standstill in under six seconds.
The HST model is priced from £81,250, putting it in the middle of the Range Rover Sport line-up between the HSE Dynamic and Autobiography Dynamic. Five colours are offered (Santorini Black, Fuji White, Indus Silver, Firenze Red or Carpathian Grey) with a few cosmetic tweaks including carbon fibre side vents and tailgate trim. Inside, the HST Range Rover Sport gets updated colours and Satin Chrome paddle shifters, with optional Adaptive Cruise Control and High Speed Emergency Braking.
What about the hybrid’s mpg?
Fuel efficiency for the new supercharged six-pot hybrid isn’t particularly stellar (JLR promises 30.5mpg). Penny-conscious buyers are likely to gravitate towards the P400e plug-in hybrid drivetrain whose meagre 2.0-litre 4cyl engine, when combined with an electric motor, churns out fractionally greater bhp than the new supercharged powertrain, but with lower emissions and better mpg.