Fuel economy regulations are forcing every automaker to embrace hybrid drivetrains, including luxury marques like Jaguar and Land Rover. One of the top engineers over at the Indian-owned British automakers even went so far as to say that hybrids will be “dominant” among top-tier vehicles in the coming years.
Jaguar Land Rover Engineering chief Wolfgang Ziebart was quoted by Autocar saying that “…hybrid will become the dominant drivetrain among ‘upper class’ models.” Hybrid technology is among the fastest growing segments, as are autonomous vehicles and broader, fuel-saving developments aside from hybrids. All of these segments will drive luxury automakers like Jaguar and Land Rover, which are owned by India’s Tata Motors, and Ziebart expects self-driving hybrids to be a big part of many luxury car fleets.
While Jaguar has toyed with a turbine-hybrid supercar concept and the more production-worthy C-X16 , its production fleet remains reliant on combustion engines (even though they might one day ditch V8s entirely). Land Rover has been a bit more daring, debuting a plug-in diesel hybrid that promises Prius-like fuel economy with Rover reliability. Ziebart is also watching the Tesla Model X closely, and acknowledges an all-electric vehicle might not be a bad idea…outside of Europe. In other words expect more hybrid Jags and Rovers,, because that’s the direction the rest of the luxury market is heading.
From there, the technology is likely to trickle down into “lower class” brands and models, until one day every car we drive is either an EV or hybrid. You know, if the planet doesn’t explode first.