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The company’s first Electric Model will be a ‘proper 4x4’ that's ‘off-road capable’. The car will go on sale in 2020.
It will first go on sale in the UK in 2019 with conventional petrol and diesel versions. The electric variant is inspired by the e-SIV concept shown at the 2018 Geneva motor show. Laird said the EV will be ‘a huge step forward, even over the current model’. "It sticks to the company’s roots and DNA of trying to be a proper SUV and crossover brand,” he said.
The e-SIV concept could cover 450km using its 61.5kWh battery pack driving its 190hp electric motor.
Laird said to diesel-electric powertrains as an alternative to petrol-electric hybrids. “I’m interested to see how diesel hybrid plays out,” he said. “I think there's a place for diesel hybrid; many of our vehicles are used for towing, and for that you need to have good torque. Diesel works very well for that kind of application, as do electric and hybrid. So, there’s an obvious fit for me for that to work well together. It will really depend upon the medium-term trajectory of what people think about diesel in the market. If it recovers a little from where it is today, I could well see it being a technology that’s really effective in achieving both economy and emissions. I do hope that the diesel market recovers; I think it deserves to.”