Tata’s JLR to reveal its all-new Jaguar XJ electric car in early 2021

The next-gen Jaguar XJ project was reportedly facing a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 Jaguar XJ electric car will debut in October 2020, Adrian Mardell, CFO, Jaguar Land Rover, told analysts in the Q1 FY2021 results conference call in August.

So, the £2.5 billion guidance* is mostly as a result of those programs continuing but everything else we were working on, so MLA MID, XJ BEV, new Range Rover BEV, 2021 model years we delayed. They were due to come out after shutdown in August, September. They’ll now be October, November.

Adrian Mardell, CFO, Jaguar Land Rover

*JLR is working on £2.5bn in cost reductions and cashflow improvements.

The next-gen Jaguar XJ didn’t break cover last month and a report from whatcar.com now says that the debut will happen in early 2021. In July, British newspaper TheTimes.co.uk had reported that the new Jaguar XJ will now be launched around October 2021 instead of early 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 added that JLR will be cutting back spending on some products but remains committed to launching the new XJ eventually.

Though there won’t be 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 added. 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 Jaguar 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 this year 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.

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 Jaguar 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 densely camouflaged test prototypes but expect it to become sportier with new design signatures. At the front, we hope to see 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 official teaser (display image), we 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 Jaguar 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. Now 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 in the electric form with ICE versions coming later. There is no specific information on the electric powertrain but Jaguar will be looking at a minimum range of 500 km (WLTP). Two electric motors, one for each axle, are expected and a performance version 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.

JLR has partnered with Tata Power in India for charging solutions of the EVs and PHEVs it plans to launch in the country. So, next-gen Jaguar XJ customers in India will get to charge their car using a range of Tata Power AC and DC chargers, with peak power ranging from 7 kW to 50 kW. The next-gen flagship saloon could land in Indian showrooms in 2022, a few months after deliveries in Europe begin.

Before the Jaguar XJ electric, JLR will launch the Jaguar I-Pace in India, in early 2021. 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.