A lot of car companies are rushing to catch up to the electrified future of motoring and Vauxhall is the latest, launching its first plug-in hybrid in the form of the Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid4.
There are few things more boring than the hybrid version of a mid-size SUV. But think on this – the Grandland PHEV produces 300hp. That’s the same kind of power as the similarly-sized, overtly sporty Cupra Ateca. The Vauxhall could turn out to be a bit of a giggle.
Of course, as it’s a hybrid, the Grandland doesn’t produce all of that power all of the time. The ICE under the bonnet is a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol motor producing 200hp. It’s backed up by a pair of electric motors – powered by a 13.2kWh lithium-ion battery – that produce 109hp.
One electric motor is coupled to the eight-speed automatic gearbox and powers the front wheels. The second is on the rear axle and provides all-wheel-drive when needed. Total system output is that aforementioned 300hp.
It’ll be a rare occasion that the powertrain serves up all 300hp, but it should still be pretty nippy, either way. As yet, there are no official performance figures.
Vauxhall claims an electric-only range of around 30 miles. Combined fuel economy is expected to be around the 128mpg mark, with Co2 emissions of 49g/km.
Using Vauxhall’s 7.4kWh wall charger, the batteries can be fully recharged in under two hours.
The Grandland X Hybrid4 comes with Vauxhall’s Free2Move route-finding service, which can plan journeys according to battery charging needs. And Connect telematics, which provides all sorts of vehicle data via an app.
The powertrain will eventually be rolled out across a number of Vauxhall’s parent PSA Group’s models over the next couple of years, including the DS 7 Crossback and Peugeot 3008 and 5008 SUVs, and the Peugeot 508 saloon.
As for Vauxhall itself, there are pure-electric versions of the next-gen Corsa supermini and Mokka X crossover, and hybrid versions of the Vivaro van and its Life-badged MPV sibling coming in the next year or so. An electrified version of all Vauxhall models will be available be 2023.
After decades of losses, General Motors sold Vauxhall/Opel to PSA Group in 2017. Under that new ownership, the company is already posting healthy profits. The Grandland X and the smaller Crossland X were the first Vauxhalls to use a PSA Group platform though, curiously, that platform-sharing deal was done years before a takeover was even on the cards.
All future Vauxhall/Opel models will be based on PSA platforms – the Combo and Vivaro vans have made the switch already.
By Graham King