Jaguar Plans Electric SUV By 2017
Like a card player with a full house in his hand, Jaguar is going all-in on an all-electric SUV. Current plans call for the model to be revealed in 2016 before being shipped to dealerships in 2017, as the model prepares to do battle against the likes of the Tesla Model X and the Audi Q6 e-tron quattro.
It’s a bold leap forward for a company that’s been making a lot of leaps in the business in the past few years. According to Autocar, the extent of Jag’s commitment to its electric SUV has reached a point that the company is even tapping into the design language of the C-X75 supercar concept. Apparently, parent firm Tata is even giving its full support on this endeavor. The Indian conglomerate is said to be intent on making a statement that it’s even allowed Jaguar to push the envelope on the electric SUV’s design, hence the decision to base its design on the 2010 concept.
It is understood that the all-electric SUV will sit on the same aluminum architecture as the XE and F-Pace. The platform was designed with an all-electric powertrain in mind, as well as a variety of hybrid and plug-in hybrid applications. Beyond the understandable buzz surrounding the yet-to-be-named electric SUV’s styling, details about the vehicle are still being kept under wraps. The company did say that the model will use the same aluminum architecture currently being used by both the XE and F-Pace. It does make sense to utilize that specific platform since it was built in the first place to accommodate an all-electric powertrain. Sources have also told Autocar that Jaguar will use an electric motor that will be mounted at each corner, thus retaining the use of driveshafts.
Once the model is released in 2017, it’s anticipated to have a range of 300 miles and carry a price tag of £60,000, which would be a little over $90,000 based on current exchange rates.
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Note: Jaguar F-pace pictured here.
Why it matters
It’s easy to see why JLR is so bent on being one of the first automakers to roll out an electric SUV, even though it has to concede that “first!” title to Tesla and the Model X. But, other than Tesla, the electric SUV market is still ripe for the taking, especially now when the demand for SUVs continues to grow. Being one of the first to offer such a model in a market that’s waiting in open arms will be a huge coup for Jaguar as it tries to corner a specific market and become the standard bearer in that segment. At this point, it’s impossible to do that in the luxury car segment, but with the EV SUV market still in its embryonic stage, someone is going to fill that spot. In Jaguar’s mind, why can’t it be them even if Tesla’s already lurking in there too?
Speaking of Tesla, Jaguar is apparently confident that its electric SUV can also outgun the Model X, thanks in large part to a global dealership network that has been ramped up in the past year to accommodate the arrival of the XE and F-Pace. Adding an electric SUV to that mix would expose the vehicle to a larger swath of markets compared to Tesla.
Another reason behind Jag’s eagerness is tied into its long-term business plan, specifically pertaining to tighten global emissions standards that are being put in place in some of the world’s biggest markets. The new Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) rules that were introduced in California and adopted by seven other states in the US is a perfect example of this. According to the new law, the number of new ZEVs sold must rise from 5% of all new cars to 15.4% between 2018 and 2025. That puts the onus on Jaguar and all other automakers to acquiesce to the new requirements lest it finds itself getting penalised for not meeting the set targets.
Knowing all this, it does seem like Jaguar’s putting all of its eggs in this particular basket, and it should if it really want s to set the standard in electric SUVs. Once the Jaguar electric SUV is on the market, the company is expected to turn its attention to Land Rover as soon as its models move on to the new common architecture.
Read our full review on the Jaguar F-Pace here.