An All-electric Jaguar Range? Might As Well…

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
an all electric jaguar range might as well

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]

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  • 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

  • Arthur Dailey What the heck is an 'influencer'?And who would buy or do something because somebody on a social media site told them to or recommended/flogged something?Maybe I am just too old and cynical to understand those who actually are 'influenced'? But then I also never trusted or was 'influenced' by celebrity endorsements or product placements.However I did know and coach a teenager who became extremely wealthy because he set up a Youtube channel where people paid to watch him and his friends play video games.
  • Dukeisduke $8,000 for this rustbucket? It's a '73, not a '74 ("Registered and titled as a 1973…it looks like a ‘74 to me"), and anyway, mid to late '60s Alfa Berlinas are much more desirable.Even if you kept it in a garage and didn't drive it in the rain, it wouldn't stop rusting, it might just progress more slowly. This looks more like a parts car than something you'd drive. It needs rear main seals all over the car, so that oil leaks can slow down the rust, like all the oil on the underbody.
  • Analoggrotto Only the truly influential , affluent, educated and elite drive TESLAs. This is a fake influencer.
  • Analoggrotto Looking forward to the comments.
  • Dukeisduke Where the hell did he get the money for all those? Likes on YouTube?