JLR will unleash six new or replacement models by 2020, in a bid to more than double its output to 1.1m units. Three of the pumped-up vehicles will be Land Rover 4x4s, while Jaguar will launch an Evoque-based small SUV and a stunning pure electric crossover, one of two Jag EVs on the way. New drivetrain developments don’t end there: JLR’s four-cylinder Ingenium engine will spawn a straight six, and we can reveal the Brits are in talks with BMW to share Munich’s next-gen V8.
The first all-new Jaguar, likely to be called E-Pace, should arrive in 2017: no prizes for guessing it’s the F-Pace’s little brother. Sharing the overhauled D8evo architecture and steel body-construction with the Evoque Mk2 (expected 2018-19), the crossover codenamed X540 looks like a shrunken F-Pace. The platform is strictly for transverse four-cylinder engines only: expect 172kW diesel and 224kW petrol flagship engines. Buyers can choose between front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, six-speed manual or nine-speed auto gearboxes and a 15kW mild hybrid, with an electric motor to support the internal combustion engine.
Also pencilled in for next year is Jaguar’s new flagship car. It’s not a like-for-like replacement for the XJ – the current car will continue on sale – but a ‘breathtakingly pretty’ five-door coupe. And there’s a twist – it’ll be a pure electric BEV. Yes, this is Jaguar’s answer to Porsche’s Mission E concept. Codenamed X590, the low-drag coupe in aluminium is said to be design director Ian Callum’s baby; CEO Ralf Speth initially favoured a more conventional three-box saloon. Thanks to the extended wheelbase and the absence of a combustion engine, the packaging is spacious and flexible.
X590 will propel JLR forward on autonomous driving: it incorporates an electronics platform bristling with sensors and cameras, whose development was instigated by Wolfgang Ziebart (formerly of BMW, chip-maker Infineon and Continental’s automotive electronics arm). Jaguar is likely to buy batteries and electric motors from external suppliers but define the performance electronics in-house.
To be offered with a choice of one (rwd) or two motors (awd), and with three battery packs differentiated for performance, range and charge time, Jag’s EV coupe should come to market just as the demand for premium BEVs is set to blossom. While the projected production volume of a traditional XJ replacement is currently hovering between 20 000 and 30 000 units per year; the EV alternative is expected to attract 30 000 to 50 000 customers. And besides, if Jaguar ever needed a conventional S-class rival, it could rebody a long-wheelbase XF.
Up to two years after X590, Jaguar should launch a second BEV – a Tesla Model X rival – based on the same D7e (electric) componentry. Although it’s made from aluminium, floorpan and suspension have little in common with D7a (cars). This vehicle started life as a Range Rover before it switched brands: Land Rover is still evaluating how e-power fits into its go-anywhere philosophy, and is acutely aware of EVs’ current weight penalties.
Those who have seen the Jaguar claim its stance and proportions are a match for Audi’s imposing Q6 e-tron. ‘Although it looks sleek, modern and aerodynamically efficient, this model will be rated as a proper SUV in North America,’ says an r&d source. ‘All the SUV-defining hard points are in place, but we’re still aiming for the sportiest and most beautiful crossover.’ Both Jaguar BEVs should be built by Magna in Austria.
Land Rover is also plotting an SUV that will break new ground for the brand: a crossover coupe Range Rover. Codenamed L560 and set to appear at 2017’s Geneva motor show, this is Land Rover’s take on the XF/F-Pace’s D7a architecture. Lower and longer than the Jaguar SUV, the eye-catching coupe-cum-station wagon sits closer to the RR Sport than the Evoque. Prototypes with a dropping roofline and tapered rear end are already out testing. This ‘Road Rover’ is heralded as a real driver’s car, with a strong on-road focus and SVR upgrade firmly pencilled in. Combined with F-Pace, L560 should contribute 140,000 sales, making it JLR’s biggest combo.
A year later, in 2018, the long-awaited, all-new Defender finally emerges. L851 abandons the archaic alloy-body-on-iron-frame pattern in favour of a new monocoque fabricated almost entirely from aluminium. The result is a lighter, stiffer and dimensionally more flexible vehicle, which can cover the full spectrum from mountain bruiser to boulevard cruiser, from Heritage to Autobiography.
Land Rover will initially offer two wheelbases, and a choice of axles, tyres, transmissions and suspension calibrations to meet a wide range of customers. The new Defender’s design is influenced by 2011’s DC100 concepts, and the first three models to hit showrooms are a long-wheelbase five-door and a short-wheelbase three-door in both hard- and soft-top guises. Although L851 will be built in Slovakia at a target rate of 100 000 units per year, low-volume production is believed to commence in the UK where it is easier to detect and eliminate early quality glitches.
Longitudinally-mounted engines include the familiar 2.0-litre units, plus brand-new in-line six-cylinder units derived from the four-cylinder Ingenium family. While the 3.0-litre petrol version is due in 2017, the same-displacement diesel should follow in late 2018. All engines are artificially aspirated; some even feature an additional electric charger for an extra helping of grunt.
New eight-cylinder engines are also on the cards, but with the supplier source potentially switched from Ford to BMW. Under the project codename Jennifer, JLR and BMW have pulled together a provisional purchasing agreement. BMW’s current unit is the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, developing up to 450kW. But the Brits could hold out for a downsized, stronger and torquier 4.0-litre engine, which might delay its Range Rover debut for up to two years. With demand decreasing and costs increasing, BMW might share to make ends meet – despite it helping an increasingly strong rival. Because if this plan hits its targets, JLR will be selling 350 000 Jaguars and 650 000 Land Rovers – and hitting its stride as it seeks to provide a compelling alternative to Germany’s car giants.