An All-electric Jaguar Range? Might As Well…

an all electric jaguar range might as well 8230

Jaguar Land Rover has a problem, and it’s not Land Rover. The Indian-owned (but still quintessentially British) automaker has seen sales of is fairly vast Land Rover family flourish, at the expense of its Jag models. Sedan sales are grim, and the two SUVs launched to prop up the brand haven’t kept its head above water, volume-wise.

Reportedly, JLR has proposed a radical solution: turn the brand into an all-electric family, thus boosting the corporate MPG of the automaker as a whole while keeping Jaguar viable in a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. Putting aside heritage and associated romance, it’s hard to come up with an argument against it.

According to Autocar, company product planners have laid out a yet-unapproved strategy that would see the marque shed all gas-powered vehicles within the next decade. The inspiration for this plan is rooted in anger — specifically, that of Tata, JLR’s Indian owner. Tata doesn’t like how sales are trending, especially in light of its recent investments.

Reportedly, planning is at a fairly advanced stage. The outline of the strategy would see the flagship XJ convert to a full EV in the next couple of years (a plan already well advertised), with the XE and XF sedans bowing out in 2023. Their replacement would be an electric crossover slightly larger than Audi’s E-Tron, which would show up around 2025 — the same time as the phase-out of the F-Pace and E-Pace crossovers. There’ll also be a new I-Pace EV crossover (due in the U.S. this fall) appearing at this time. A new range-topping utility vehicle, the J-Pace, will launch for 2021 and enter retirement around 2027.

As for the F-Type sports coupe and convertible, it won’t make it halfway through the coming decade. No direct replacement is planned. Just to reiterate, this plan has not received a go signal from JLR.

Were JLR to pull the trigger, execs imagine a near future where Jaguar, with four or five models available, captures a large slice of Europe’s burgeoning premium EV segment. Other markets, China being at the top, could prove receptive as well.

European cities are increasingly pushing for all-out bans on internal combustion vehicles, with German cities already allowed to restrict use (and movement) of older diesel models within their boundaries. Going EV would give the brand free reign. The developments costs would be cushioned by the galloping Land Rover family, which continues to see its sales rise, and partially absorbed by higher MSRPs. A sharp rise in corporate fuel economy would also allow the Land Rover range to forgo expensive investments in electrification. Buyers seem to like their Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles just the way they are, and there’s the upcoming Defender to consider, too.

In the U.S., the steep sales increase seen from 2015 to 2017 reversed in 2018. Year to date, Jaguar sales are down 30 percent over the same period last year. September saw a 38 percent year-over-year decrease for the marque, while the Land Rover family rose 9 percent to a new record for the month.

Early reviews of the I-Pace crossover show Jaguar already has the capability of building an engaging EV with significant sporting and utility appeal. Owners of old E-Types can even have their rides converted to electric power without altering the car’s weight balance. In short: electrification is already attaching itself to Jaguar’s identity.

Those worried about heritage and tradition bemoaned the introduction of the F-Pace — a vehicle that’s done more to keep Jaguar alive in the past two years than anything else — and the continued shift of consumer preferences towards SUVs means survival as a company depends on following the changing winds and anticipating new ones. No one’s forecasting the return of the car, nor a decline in EV growth.

[Images: Jaguar Land Rover]

Join the conversation
2 of 40 comments
  • HotPotato HotPotato on Oct 17, 2018

    How many brands of midsize luxury electric SUVs can we have? How big is that market really? Literally the only reasons I can imagine anyone would consider a Johnny-come-lately brand to this space instead of a Tesla are that a) the Model X's space-egg styling isn't for everyone, b) they want to pay a bit less than the Model X's base price (as if price really matters when you can afford something on the wrong side of the $50k mark), or c) they only want an extravagant second car, since that's what it's going to be limited to in the absence of Tesla's dedicated true high-speed charging network. If the manufacturers' concern is just enabling their Euro customers to continue to drive in the city center, they can do that with the same half-baked, bad-faith, short-range PHEVs that BMW, Volvo, and Audi currently specialize in: tacking a joke of a battery and plug onto a standard gasoline hybrid car and saying "look, ma, you can go for 10 miles on electricity!" (if you never turn on the heat or push the throttle more than halfway). They're garbage, but they drive right through the loophole. If -- and this is a big if -- automakers are serious about EVs, they need to build machines with serious range and strong performance down in the mid-price class. So far, only Chevy has done that, although Hyundai isn't too far behind if they can ever get around to ramping up production. Jaguar promises an $85k midsize electric SUV, Audi promises an $85k midsize electric SUV, Volvo promises their $85k midsize SUV will eventually be legitimately electric -- who cares. We don't need more $85k luxury electric SUVs. We need the Fat Camry of EVs: something that blows people away with how good it is for its midrange price.

  • GenesisCoupe380GT GenesisCoupe380GT on Apr 07, 2020

    Hell no! I'd just as soon pull the plug on Jaguar than to see it be ruined just to placate a bunch of hippie treehuggers. That's like outlawing chicken farming just so the waste-a-day brigade known as PETA can feel better about being on the brink of starvation

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.