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Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Review

The new Range Rover Sport P510e may be a plug-in hybrid rather than a full EV but it offers an all-electric driving range of up to 70 miles, and it can conquer mountains covered in snow, which makes it virtually unique.

  • Range Rover Sport PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
  • Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023
Green Car Guide Rating: 9/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:  Range Rover Sport P510e 3.0-litre 6-cylinder 510hp Twin Turbocharged Petrol PHEV
  • Fuel:  Petrol-electric plug-in hybrid
  • Fuel economy combined (WLTP):  326.9 mpg
  • Electric range: Up to 70 miles

Summary

  • Up to 70-mile electric driving range
  • Massively capable off-road
  • Luxurious on-road driving experience
  • Just don’t mention the weight, or the price

Background

The automotive industry is on an unstoppable trajectory towards 100% electric cars, and we would like to see all cars available with electric powertrains as soon as possible. This includes Land Rovers and Range Rovers, but we’re not quite there yet. So in the meantime, if you want a car that can go anywhere, and is also electric, what are your options? Well, the new Range Rover Sport has an all-electric driving range of up to 70 miles, but is it still capable off-road? This was our mission to investigate – here’s what happened…

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023

Design & Engineering

The Range Rover Sport P510e has a 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder 510hp twin turbocharged petrol engine together with a 38.2kWh battery and a 141hp electric motor, an 8-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.

Just to put this into perspective, the first-generation Nissan LEAF had a 24kWh battery and officially had a range of 109 miles, although Nissan quoted 100 miles. Today most of those early first-generation LEAFs will struggle to exceed 70 miles on one charge, so the Range Rover Sport P510e is likely to have a longer all-electric range in the real-world.

The Range Rover Sport, along with the Range Rover, has recently been revised, with new, sleeker exterior styling, including door handles that retract to be flush with the door panel when on the move. There’s still a big boot – offering up to 647 litres of space with the rear seats up. The interior is very high-end and full of the latest technology.

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Driving Experience

Most people who are considering buying a Range Rover Sport are likely to expect it to offer a luxurious driving experience and impressive off-road ability, and in the case of the plug-in hybrid model, zero-tailpipe emission capability. So can one car offer all these things? That’s what we set out to discover.

To do this, a trip to the mountains was needed. With any plug-in hybrid, the first thing that’s required is to locate the controls for the hybrid system. In the Range Rover Sport there’s a button on the centre console marked ‘EV’; if you press this you get the options of EV, Hybrid and Save. This is good, and clear, offering the option of electric-only power for local journeys, the ability to save the battery charge if driving on a long journey, and a hybrid option for anything in between.

The driving experience around town on electric power is like any electric car – quiet, refined, and thanks to a decent-sized electric motor producing 141hp, responsive.

Life on the motorway, on the petrol engine, is also quiet and refined, with excellent ride comfort. When the motorway ends and you hit and A and B roads, you can select Dynamic driving mode, and S on the gear selector, and performance is good. There are steering-wheel mounted paddles to change gear, but there’s no option to adjust the level of brake regeneration.

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023

This might be a good time to talk about the elephant in the room (literally): weight. The Range Rover Sport P510e weighs 2,810kg. This is very, very heavy, and is a result of a large SUV body, a big 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder twin turbocharged petrol engine, a 38.2kWh battery, an electric motor, and the all-wheel drive hardware. Although 510hp and 700Nm of torque should offer a lot of performance, when combined with a car weighing 2,810kg, the performance is bound to be blunted. The Range Rover Sport has ‘Dynamic Air Suspension with Dynamic Response Pro’ but even that can’t hide the weight when cornering.

When the A and B roads come to an end and you hit off-road routes, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the Terrain Response 2 system. This is a dial in the centre console that gives you the drive mode options of Dynamic, Eco, Comfort, Grass Gravel Snow, Mud Ruts, Sand, Rock Crawl and Wade. These settings should be enough for most challenges, but the Range Rover Sport also offers two more buttons, for hill descent control, and low range. Yes, even on a car with performance of 510hp, there’s low range.

With all this hardware and software, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Range Rover Sport was able to tackle very challenging off-road routes with absolutely no problems. This achievement was helped by air suspension, which raises the ground clearance from 216mm to 274mm, and the ability to wade in up to 900mm of water. The Range Rover Sport is a big car for off-roading, but the vehicle’s manoeuvrability is enhanced by all-wheel steering.

However our test car was fitted with 23-inch wheels and low profile road-biased tyres. This meant that we had to use some careful judgement for very rocky sections of trail in order to preserve the wheels and tyres. Cameras that show the road to the front of the car and directly in front of the wheels are really helpful when trying to negotiate severe surfaces.

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023

When the conditions turned to snow and ice, the Range Rover Sport was quite simply amazing. Although low profile, the Pirelli Scorpion Zero tyres were all-season, and they enabled the car to clamber to the top of a number of mountain passes that were closed to all other vehicles. The vast majority of driving off-road and on snow was done on zero tailpipe-emission electric power.

At one point we came across a Jeep that had attempted to drive up a hill covered in snow and ice and had failed, slipping down the road and into a roadside ditch. This was around 10 miles from the nearest civilisation, there were no other people or vehicles around, the sun was going down and the road was becoming more icy, and the Jeep was very, very stuck. The only hope to avoid the Jeep occupants being abandoned in the icy mountains all night was the Range Rover Sport towing the car out of the ditch and up the steep hill covered in snow and ice.

Amazingly, the Range Rover not only pulled the Jeep out of the ditch, but also up the snow-covered hill, without any hint of wheel slip or any other drama (it has a braked towing capacity of a huge 3,000kg). The Range Rover also achieved this feat on electric power. The moral of the story is that if you want to drive up mountain passes covered in snow and ice only do this in a Range Rover with all-season tyres.

The Range Rover Sport had a Low Traction Launch setting, which assisted with traction when starting to accelerate on snow and ice.

Low Traction Launch is one of a number of settings accessible via the large 13-inch touchscreen. The home screen features three main boxes, for navigation, phone and  media, with the same items also accessible via shortcut buttons on the right-hand side of the screen, together with vehicle settings. Under the shortcut buttons at the bottom right is a symbol to give access to a secondary screen with lots more features.

Under the touchscreen are separate heating and ventilation controls, which is much better than having these controls hidden in the main touchscreen.

Yet more technology includes a head-up display and a ClearSight interior digital rear-view mirror, although the latter provides a very high view behind the car. One useful detail is that when you’re trying to put on your seat belt in the dark, the area that you need to insert the seat belt buckle into is illuminated. It’s a shame that this isn’t also done for the interior door handles, which are located quite far forward and are hard to see in the dark.

Despite the Range Rover Sport being a big car, there’s not much room for the driver’s left leg, thanks to a wide centre console. The steering wheel is also quite large, and it doesn’t extend out particularly far.

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Economy and Emissions

The Range Rover Sport PHEV has an official WLTP electric driving range of up to 70 miles (69 miles for our test car), a combined economy figure of 326.9 mpg, and CO2 emissions of 20 g/km. The WLTP test is carried out over a distance of 14.4 miles, so a plug-in hybrid with an electric range of 70 miles is always going to perform incredibly well, as it can drive on electric power for almost the entire test.

So how did the Range Rover Sport perform in the real world? Well, for driving distances of up to 70 miles between charges, not surprisingly it could achieve or exceed the official figure of 326.9 mpg, thanks to running on electric power virtually all of the time.

Therefore it’s the fuel economy that the vehicle achieved on the petrol engine on long journeys that we were most interested in, which was 25.3mpg. So the Range Rover Sport can achieve 326.9 mpg or better in the real-world if driven on electric power all the time, it can average 25.3mpg on the petrol engine, or it can vary anywhere between the two depending on how much driving is on electric power. The overall average fuel economy was 56.1mpg – which is good for a 4×4 weighing almost three tonnes.

The average electric range of our test car when fully charged was 59 miles – during a week in January when there was snow on the ground for most of the time. Together with a full fuel tank, the total range was displayed as 369 miles.

Most plug-in hybrids can’t rapid charge, however the Range Rover Sport has a CCS socket, allowing it to rapid charge at up to 50kW. You can also charge it at home using a wallbox or, if necessary, a 3-pin plug.

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023

Price and Model Range

The Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV in Autobiography trim costs £108,545. Our test car had options of Giola Green paint (£895) and 23-inch wheels (£1,100), privacy glass (£475) and front fog lights (£175), taking the total price to £111,245.

There’s also a P440e model with 440PS rather than the 510PS of the P510e model. The Range Rover Sport P440e is available in SE (from £84,530), Dynamic SE and Autobiography trim; the P510e is available in Autobiography and First Edition trim.

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023

Conclusion

Here at Green Car Guide our preference is for electric cars that are as efficient as possible. However if you want an electric car that can drive up a mountain in the snow, currently there aren’t any options. So the Range Rover Sport PHEV, with its electric range of up to 70 miles, is the closest you’re going to get. And although this car weighs almost three tonnes, and costs over £100,000 as tested, you have to marvel at the technological achievement of the Range Rover Sport. It can transport five people plus their luggage for hundreds of miles on the motorway in luxury and with impressive performance, yet it can also tackle virtually anything that the environment can throw at it without any dramas – and on zero tailpipe-emission electric power for much of the time. The Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV is awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 9/10.

Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023

Car facts and figures Range Rover Sport P510e PHEV 2023 Review

  • Test economy: 56.1 mpg
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 20 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):  £0 (first year)
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2022/23): 5%
  • Price:  £108,545
  • Insurance group:  50
  • Power:  510 hp
  • Torque:  700 Nm
  • Max speed:  150 mph
  • 0-62 mph:  5.4 seconds
  • Weight:  2,810 kg
  • Towing capacity: 3,000 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor