This past week, I’ve been driving a 2020 Range Rover Sport HST. Those three letters on the end signify a unique powertrain setup under the hood. This Rover is fitted with a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine. It’s paired with a turbocharger and a 48V mild-hybrid setup as well. The output is 395 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. Not bad, right? Additionally, Land Rover says it’s more balanced than the prior V6, while also being more responsive and burping out less CO2.
But did it really need to be an inline engine?
There’s some great tech packaged around and inside this Ingenium engine family member. Some of it borrowed from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder sibling. Yet I can’t help but think Land Rover went with the I6 just to be a bit different. To lean on some past notions of straight-six nostalgia.
Listen, I like a good inline engine. And the one in the nose of this Rover works rather well. The start-stop system is actually quite unobtrusive. Power delivery is smooth. And I only find myself wishing for a V8 with respect to the noise produced by Land Rovers packing more potent powerplants.
On the flipside, this engine leaves me worried. There are so many things working here that a minor issue with any one of them could render the whole setup useless. Re-read the bits relayed in that image above. And then wonder if a more standard real hybrid setup might not be better, and paired with an already tried-and-true V6? Or even as an option on the V8.
I like the Range Rover HST. I like that it’s well under $100k too (just under $90k as-tested/starts at $82k). But I’m not sold on the fact that it needs to have this engine. Why isn’t anyone else making use of the I6 anymore? Should it make a comeback? Should others adopt it where packaging allows?
Am I wrong?
Let me know below…