Lexus wowed the off-roader world a few years ago with its hybrid LH400, which used a big battery plus electric motors in the front and rear axles to cut fuel usage.

Now French maker Peugeot has joined the diesel-electric hybrid off-roader club with its 508 RXH. This 200hp, 4wd machine manages an astonishing 67.2 mpg in the combined fuel cycle with CO2 emissions of 109g/km.

The vehicle can run on electric drive only (using the power from the battery) or it can combine the 163hp from the 2-litre diesel engine with the 37hp electric motor pushing power to the rear wheels to give 200bhp. Launch is due in 2012.

Land Rover is also planning to launch its Range_e diesel-electric off-roader in 2013. This is based on the Range Rover Sport and uses the current 245hp 3-litre TDV6 diesel engine, working with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a 69kW electric motor.