During an investor conference in June, Jaguar Land Rover revealed plans for its new modular platform, engineered for use with both internal combustion and all-electric drivetrains. The company says this "Modular Longitudinal Architecture" will debut in two models, "a large SUV and a large premium sedan."
According to a report from Automotive News Europe, the "large premium sedan" the brand refers to will be the next Jaguar XJ. The current XJ, shown above, is more than a decade old, and set to go out of production in July. So it only makes sense the new one would use this MLA platform. Automotive News Europe speculates the "large SUV" referenced in the conference will be the new Range Rover, set for 2021.
Interestingly, Automotive News Europe reports the new XJ will launch first as an electric vehicle, before expanding to offer internal combustion powertrain options later down the line. We're not sure we've ever heard of a car launching exclusively with electric power, then getting ICE engines later—usually it's the other way around. Sporting a 90.2-kWh battery and a range up to 292 miles (as claimed at the investor conference), it's set to rival cars like the Tesla Model S, the Porsche Taycan, and the upcoming Audi E-tron GT.
Automotive News Europe spoke with Jaguar's outgoing head of design, Ian Callum, who explained how the new MLA platform will fit into the JLR lineup.
"We are moving to MLA yes, but that won't be the only platform," Callum told Automotive News Europe. "It would be mad not to evolve the I-Pace platform," he continued. "It's not the least expensive platform in the world, but the first platform is inevitably going to be more expensive than the next one."
The I-Pace, launched in 2018, was Jaguar's first production EV. It rides on its own bespoke platform, and is built under contract by Magna Steyr in Austria—the same company that assembles the BMW Z4, Toyota Supra, and Mercedes-Benz G-Class, among others.
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