British carmaker Jaguar will revive its flagship XJ sedan as an electric car as soon as 2020, making it the second all-electric vehicle for the premium brand following its electric I-Pace SUV.
With last of the current line of XJ vehicles slated to roll off the factory floor this July, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) said at a June investor event that the luxury sedan would be reborn with an electric drivetrain using the brand’s newest electric platform, dubbed “Modular Longitudinal Architecture” (MLA).
The electric XJ will be fitted with a 90kWh battery delivering up to 470km of range, according to JLR’s head of product engineering Nick Rogers.
These are specs that would put in a fair race against the Standard Range Tesla Model S, while possibly outrunning the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-Tron, which are also slated for release in 2020.
According to a report by European Auto News, the XJ will debut alongside another electric model – it is expected this will be an all-electric Range Rover.
By using the modular electric platform, Rogers said at the event that it will assist the company to “drive margin improvement driven by new products and cost improvements.”
While the MLA architecture – which will also underpin the brand’s plug-in hybrid models in the future (the current PHEV Range Rovers use the D7U platform) – will allow for cost effective implementation, Jaguar’s outgoing head of design, Ian Callum told Auto News that the current I-Pace architecture will not be laid aside.
“We are moving to MLA yes, but that won’t be the only platform,” he said.
But, “it would be mad not to evolve the I-Pace platform. It’s not the least expensive platform in the world, but the first platform is inevitably going more expensive than the next one.”
The electric XJ was originally expected to go on sale at the start of 2019, according to UK’s Autocar, but this never eventuated.
Plummeting sales in China resulted in a record £3.6 billion ($A6.6 billion) loss for the British brand at its 2019 financial year’s end in March, with sales down for all models except the award-winning electric I-Pace and all Range Rover models except the run out Evoque.
With the decline of diesel – particularly in British and European markets due to stricter emissions regulations – forcing a transition to electric mobility, Jaguar Land Rover is pinning its future in a new “Charge and Accelerate” program that will see it invest in further development of electric drivetrains at its Wolverhampton engine facility.
The new generation of electric vehicles built on these drivetrains will be powered by batteries made in-house by the brand at a new battery assembly facility to be established at Hams Hall, North Warwickshire.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.