• John Voelcker Posted: 3/8/2008 10:10am PST

    That hybrid system ain't unique, Paul. Toyota's used the same thing for AWD in its Highland Hybrid for several years now.

    The challenge is that when you most need AWD--when you need the rear-axle torque to dig yourself out of mire or whatever--you have to be careful not to burn out the electrric motor.

    I'm told that the Highlander Hybrid (admittedly on a car platform, not a Land-Rover quality off-roader) specifically says in its handbook, "Don't take this thing off-road" -- and, worse, that the control software specifically shuts down the rear motor to protect it from burning out if you demand too much rear torque for too long.

    That's a solveable problem, and L-R clearly has the off-road cred to know what it needs to provide. But it's a new set of challenges for L-R's engineers. I'll forgo the joke about British electrics, the Prince of Darkness, etc. ....