Report: J-Pace, Road Rover to Join Electric Jaguar XJ; XF and XE in Limbo
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A brace of road-oriented electric crossovers will join the upcoming XJ at Jaguar Land Rover’s historic Castle Bromwich assembly plant, Autocar reports. The UK plant, formerly home to wartime aircraft production, will pivot to EVs with the help of a $1.2 billion investment.
With Jag pulling the bulk of its volume from crossovers, the addition of a larger crossover is a no-brainer; meanwhile, Land Rover’s shadowy Road Rover is said to be a go — minus the name itself. That leaves the slow-selling XE and XF sedans as the big question marks in the brand’s future lineup.
Company sources tell the publication that J-Pace and Road Rover production will commence by the end of next year, with the newly electric (and quite large) XJ scheduled to appear before the end of 2020. All three models share JLR’s new MLA platform, capable of accomodating a range of powertrains.
That architecture will allow the automaker to tailor the models for different markets. While European and Chinese buyers are hot on EVs (a position they’ve been strong-armed into by zealous governments), most North American buyers would still prefer a gasoline or hybrid option. The J-Pace will go up against premium midsizers like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE.
Land Rover’s Road Rover is said to be low-riding affair that puts style ahead of off-roadability, but not at the expense of useable interior volume. This model is said to be EV-only, whereas the J-Pace — a model whose styling reportedly diverges significantly from the existing I-Pace EV — will likely offer alternate powertrains.
As for the compact XE and XF sedans, both rare sights on Western roads, Jaguar brass remain on the fence as to their future. Both sedans hail from Castle Bromwich; options include swapping the models to EV powerplants — a move that isn’t likely to boost sales — or combining them into a sole crossover-type model. There’s also the possibility that they’ll disappear at the end of their life cycle.
The “quietly profitable” F-Type sports car is said to be safe for the time being.
[Image: Jaguar Land Rover]
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