Jaguar’s flagship XJ model will celebrate its 50th birthday at the end of 2018, marking the release of the latest electric version of the car. The XJ will be reassembled as an electric car for the next generation and will go on sale in 2019. Before deciding to reinvent the XJ as an electric car, Jaguar had serious iterations regarding the future model and its future existence. Eventually, the company decided not to replace the XJ, in spite of the more competitive market for luxurious SUVs, but rather upgrade the model with electric features.
The new electric XJ will not be identical to the traditional one, and will act as a high-tech electric car. Jaguar plans to sell the car as a cutting edge alternative to luxury saloons like the BMW7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The XJ has previously had major reinventions in order to maintain relevance in the market. For example, the X350-generation XJ, launched in 2003, was the first aluminium version, while the X351, introduced in 2009, was a complete redesign of the original XJ design, launched in 1968. The last reinvention into an electric model comes as a response to the electrification trend in the automotive markets, globally.
New design for a flagship model
XJ’s new deisgn will be overlooked by Director of Design, Ian Callum and his team. The electric design will have an aluminium architecture, while it will maintain its saloon profile, with an added 5th door. The new vehicle will have twin motors and an all-wheel drive, backed with chassis technology, required to create a luxurious and sporty drive. The electric drivetrain will provide strong performance and torque vectoring, enabling a range that could exceed 300 mph.
The new design is already well accepted within the company, with a strong “consensus” that the XJ should remain the flagship model in the electrification era, despite a new electric model. Namely, Jaguar’s I-PACE Concept is the first electric model to be launched in 2018, establishing the company’s presence in the electric vehicles market. The following, significant technology transfers from the I-PACE to XJ, will additionally contribute to the maintenance of Jaguar’s momentum as an electric car maker.
Jaguar I-PACE Concept
I‑PACE Concept is a battery electric vehicle, which operates on two electric motors, powered by electricity stored in rechargeable batteries. As Jaguar’s first all-electric five-seater sports car, the I‑PACE will offer exceptional performance in environmentally friendly, electric vehicles.
The vehicle is built with next generation technology, all wheel drive capabilities and aerodynamic design, aiming to deliver 700Nm instant torque, 400PS and 0‑100km/h in around 4 seconds. It is powered with high-tech Lithium-ion batteries, with capacity of 90kWh, enabling a one-charge range greater than 500km. Moreover, it can achieve 80% charge in 90 minutes with a 50kW DC rapid charger.
Well planned electrification strategy
Jaguar’s electrification strategy has a well planned timing. I-PACE will be available for sales in the second half of 2018, as the first premium electric car, while the succeeding XJ will become the second in the new range of electric cars.
Jaguar has typically had the greatest sales success with XJ in the UK. However, the electric version will focus on other markets, such as China and the US, especially California. Hence, besides reinventing itself with a new design, Jaguar will also set a new strategy for its technology and brand.
In addition to redesigning the XJ, Jaguar is developing a new, more car-like Range Rover model, internally called “Road Rover”. When released for sale, the car will keep its Range Rover name, due to the recognisable brand.