Jaguar J-Pace and Land Rover “Road Rover” electric SUVs in the works
Jaguar Land Rover plans to convert a United Kingdom factory to produce three new electric models, including the already-confirmed XJ sedan and two SUVs, according to Autocar.
The automaker announced in 2019 that the Castle Bromwich factory will transition from building the internal-combustion XJ to a new electric version of Jaguar’s flagship sedan.
But the same factory will also build the Jaguar J-Pace—an electric SUV slotting above the current I-Pace in Jaguar’s lineup—and a Land Rover model tentatively dubbed “Road Rover,” according to Autocar.
All three models are based on JLR’s Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform, which can also accommodate internal-combustion and plug-in hybrid powertrains, the magazine reported. The same platform will also reportedly underpin the next-generation Land Rover Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Discovery. Land Rover will emphasize plug-in hybrid powertrains in these SUVs in order to meet stricter European emissions standards, according to the report.
Little is known about the J-Pace and “Road Rover” (which will get a different name for production), but the J-Pace may be sold with both internal-combustion (possibly hybrid) and electric powertrains, the report said.
The “Road Rover” nickname implies something more car-like than Land Rover’s traditional SUVs. The automaker has already gone in this direction with the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Velar, so perhaps the electric model will take things a step further.
2019 Jaguar I-Pace S
Jaguar has dropped some hints about the electric XJ, indicating it will have an unconventional design. Expected to debut in 2021, the electric XJ could target the Tesla Model S. The outgoing internal-combustion XJ, which ceased production in 2019, was priced close to the Tesla sedan.
The I-Pace, meanwhile, will continue to be built in Austria and will have a normal lifecycle, according to Autocar.
Jaguar’s only current electric model has been a slow seller in the United States, although sales have been more robust elsewhere. That’s not an encouraging sign for one of the first true Tesla competitors fielded by an established automaker.
Range is also an issue. Not only is the I-Pace’s EPA-rated 234-mile range unimpressive for a vehicle with a 90-kilowatt-hour battery pack, but we’ve found the I-Pace has a tendency to adjust its range downward in sometimes unsettling ways.
Jaguar has attempted to boost real-world range with a software update, which doesn’t impact the I-Pace’s EPA range rating.