Fully-electric Jaguar XJ launch pushed to late-2021 [Update]

While an earlier report suggested that the COVID-19 situation will not affect the launch of the next-generation Jaguar XJ, a new story has revealed that the Jaguar flagship model has now been pushed to late-2021.

British newspaper TheTimes.co.uk reports that the new XJ, which was supposed to be unveiled by the end of 2020 to go on sale in early-2021, will now be launched around October 2021. The delay will allow Jaguar Land Rover to restructure its product line-up and launch programs to cope with the recent global crisis. The report adds that JLR will be cutting back spending on some products but remains committed to launching the new XJ eventually.

Though there won’t be any changes to the long-term strategy of the company’s portfolio, immediate plans have taken an impact which prioritizes the new Defender and the Range Rover family, the report adds. The Jaguar XJ is not among the brand’s most profitable models. The Castle Bromwich plant which produces the XF and XE, will make the electric XJ and is operating at a reduced output due to the anti-Coronavirus measures.

Evolutionary departure

Having stopped making the XJ last year, Jaguar is prepping to launch the all-new XJ as a fully-electric luxury saloon. The first variations of the car hit the testing circuit a few weeks ago sporting camouflage and is expected to offer a sleek design that will be different compared to a normal sedan and offer a more engaging drive, it is said.

The new generation Jaguar XJ will be the first car that will be built on Jaguar Land Rover’s new Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform. The MLA platform has been developed to house various powertrains including fully-electric, hybrid-electric and ICE units and will be used to build Jaguar’s J-Pace SUV and Land Rover’s first all-electric model, the Road Rover. The new XJ will be built at the company’s Castle Bromwich plant.

Jaguar Design Director, Julian Thomson, in an interaction with AutoExpress.co.uk, has said that the new XJ will be very luxurious, very calm, not overtly flashy or overtly expensive.

Initially, the new-gen XJ will be available only in its fully-electric form to rival the likes of Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which will have its own electric derivative EQS next year. Thomson has said that the new Jaguar flagship has been designed to make an emotional connection with the customers and will not be a car to just sit in and driven around. The design will include a traditional long bonnet, which in this case is purely a design element. Mr Thomson believes that a cab-forward design shouldn’t be done if it doesn’t suit a type of car. The electric XJ will be quite different, as in more traditional, from the Jaguar’s other electric car, the radical looking I-Pace.

A ‘swoopier’ design

Not many details can be gathered from the spy pictures of the car testing but we can expect it to be sportier with new design signatures. At the front, expect an evolved version of the grille from the I-Pace along with an all-LED light setup and flush door handles that pop-out when needed. From the earlier teaser, we already know that there will be a LED strip that runs the width of the car connecting the tail lights. The roofline swoops towards the boot in a more pronounced fashion and will help in maximizing boot space. Jaguar could hone the current XJ’s design for more elegance without overdetailing any aspect of the car.

Shrewd attention to detail

Julian Thomson reveals to Autocar.co.uk that the new XJ will embody the serenity, beauty and calm with no “intimidating technology.” He says the the doors and windows have been designed precisely to control the way light enters the car that leaves the cabin serene. Unless we see the car, we wouldn’t know what Thomson is talking about. The 2021 Jaguar XJ’s design principle is straight from the words of Jaguar’s founder Sir William Lyons who said owners should feel better stepping out after a journey in a Jaguar than when they entered it.

At least 500 km of travel range from the BMW-JLR powertrain

Initially, Jaguar will be offering the XJ only in the electric form and may offer ICE versions later. There is no specific information on the electric powertrain but Jaguar will be looking at a minimum range of 500 km (WLTP). Electric motors for each wheel are expected and a performance versions should follow given that there is an AMG version of the Mercedes EQS and an ‘M’ version of the BMW i7 electric planned.

The new XJ could be the first vehicle to receive the electric motor, transmission and power electronics jointly developed by Jaguar Land Rover and BMW. The two companies announced that they would build the next generation electric drive system in June 2019 with joint investment in R&D, engineering and procurement. The learnings Jaguar has had from building the i-Pace including packaging would come in handy during the development of the saloon car.

Meanwhile, Jaguar will be launching its first all-electric model, Jaguar I-Pace in India this year. The I-Pace gets a 90 kWh battery pack that offers a range of 480 km in a single charge. Driven by two electric motors, the I-Pace offers 400 PS of peak power and 696 Nm of torque and can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. We can expect the I-Pace to be launched in India in the second half of 2020 supported by a skeletal charging infrastructure from Tata Power.

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