Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has won SMMT’s 2011 Award for Automotive Innovation for its prototype Range_e – the world’s first luxury Plug-in Hybrid Electric 4×4 with integrated V6 diesel engine.
The award, sponsored by GKN Driveline, was presented to JLR’s Chief Engineer, Hybrids, Peter Richings at SMMT’s Annual Dinner by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker and Rob Rickell, Global Engineering Director, GKN.
The Range_e beat off stiff competition from companies across the car, commercial vehicle and supply chain sectors to win SMMT’s second annual award designed to showcase the importance of R&D and the role the UK plays in developing global automotive products.
Commenting on the announcement, Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive and chair of the five-strong judging panel said, “JLR has engineered and manufactured a highly-efficient and technologically advanced prototype vehicle that clearly demonstrates industry’s commitment to lowering vehicle emissions and creating exciting products for demanding consumers. This award champions industry innovation – promoting cutting-edge automotive engineering and design that the UK is famed for around the world.”
Receiving the Award, Peter Richings, Chief Engineer, Hybrids, JLR said, “Innovation and technology are the lifeblood of our business and we are delighted that our work has earned this recognition from our industry peers. Range_e demonstrates the advances we are making in cleaner and more fuel-efficient performance without compromising the performance and all-wheel-drive capabilities that are at the heart of our brand and we look forward to bringing its benefits to the market in the near future. The award for the Range_e project is testament to the range of skills, excellence and enthusiasm of not just our own engineers and designers, but the people in the research and academic organisations in the UK that have supported them.”
Sponsor of this year’s Award, GKN Driveline’s Engineering Director, Rob Rickell said, “GKN Driveline is once again proud to sponsor the award. As a UK company, we recognise that research and development of technology will result in innovative solutions satisfying our society’s demanding and ever evolving needs. By doing this successfully, we and others will have a positive impact on the environment, the communities and the economies in which we all operate. The finalists tonight demonstrate fine examples of developments that embody that spirit.”
The Range_e, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this year, impressed judges with its four different modes of operation, ability to deliver emissions of 89g/km CO2 and driving range of more than 20 miles in a pure EV mode.
On presenting the Award, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker, spoke about the importance of recognising innovation within the UK’s automotive sector, adding that a collaborative approach across the commercial, business and government sectors was essential in encouraging new technologies and products to market.
This year’s Award was judged by a panel of senior industry figures, including Dave Salt, Chief Engineer, GKN Driveline, Ralph Hosier, Engineer and Motoring Journalist and Jon Beasley, Group Technology Officer,
GKN. UK engineering of the Range_e has been undertaken at JLR’s Gaydon engineering site and UK fleet trials began in December 2010. Earlier this year, Land Rover announced its plans to launch the first diesel-electric hybrid in 2013.