As we wrote late last month, the Jaguar XJ is about to use up one of its nine lives. The big cat gets euthanized next month without a direct replacement ready for market. However, we also told you that the cat will be back, possibly as an electric vehicle next time. At an investor meeting Jaguar confirmed that to be true.
Jaguar is working on a new Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform for use under the next XJ and for the next Range Rover. The flexible platform is capable of being used in electric, plug-in hybrid, or mild-hybrid configurations. It is also being designed to be very light weight, eventually to be used to replace all five of the platforms that Jaguar Land Rover uses. Jaguar Land Rover hopes to increase profits by reducing the number of architectures. Jaguar does plan to continue to develop the I-Pace platform which is unrelated to MLA.
The XJ's direct replacement will launch first as a electric model with a predicted range of 292 miles using a 90.2 kWh battery. Later, 6-cylinder models (likely the new inline-6 recently shown in Range Rover) will become available. The 292 mile range in the XJ would rival the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan.
For those who prefer a plug-in hybrid, the MLA platform will use a 13.1 kWh battery giving an estimated EV range of about 31 miles. Mild-Hybrid versions get a belt-alternator-starter setup to give a small electric boost at start.
Also on the MLA platform will be the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Both names currently offer plug-in hybrid versions, but the new MLA platform could enable the Range Rover to be available in an all electric version. Land Rover has not yet confirmed this to be the case. The Range Rover would come first with the Sport following close behind in 2021.
All of this comes in the background of huge job cuts at Jaguar after a record $4.6 billion loss.