Inline-threes aren’t exactly known for high power applications, but there are ways these dinky engines can make the grade. You could turbocharge the bejesus out of your three-pot (Toyota GR Yaris), employ some incredible Swedish geekery (Koenigsegg Gemera), or supplement the engine with a big electric motor (BMW i8).
Land Rover has gone for option three, creating plug-in ‘P300e’ versions of the Discovery Sport and Evoque. Here, an all-new 1.5-litre engine - based on the ‘Ingenium’ modular architecture - brings 197bhp to the party, backed up by an electric motor for the rear axle that bumps the total output to 304bhp.
The PHEVs are by far the most powerful options for each model, and - despite the additional weight of the battery pack - the fastest. The Evoque P300e will crack 0-62mph in 6.4 seconds, with the Disco Sport managing the same in 6.6.
The 15kWh battery pack lives under the rear seats and can be charged from empty to 80 per cent in just under an hour and a half with a 7kW domestic wall box, or 30 minutes at a public charger capable of supplying 32kW or more. Fully juiced, the Discovery Sport P300e can travel up to 38 electric-only miles, with the slightly lighter Evoque edging its big bro with a 41 range.
As with all plug-in hybrids, the P300e siblings come with some hilariously high and not especially helpful economy and emissions figures. According to the WLTP cycle, the Evoque puffs out just 32/kg of CO2 and is capable of up to 201.8mpg, while the Discovery emits 36g/km and can manage 175.5mpg.
The actual figures you’re going to achieve will vary wildly depending on the length of the journey, how you drive and how much charge you managed to get into the battery before departing. For instance, if your commute is well within the EV range and you have a boss nice enough to let you plug in at work, you might not have to use the new 1.5 at all. On the other hand, you’ll only get a fraction of the official figures on longer journeys.
Sound like your kind of Evoque/Discovery Sport? Both are available to order now. The Evoque P300e starts at £43,850 and can be had in S, SE or HSE trim, while the Discovery Sport starts at £45,370 and can be had as an R-Dynamic S, SE or HSE.