Not much is known, but the all-electric XJ is currently under development

It’s no secret that Jaguar has eyes on launching an all-electric version of the XJ sedan, and just as we started lamenting the lack of tangible evidence of an all-electric XJ, a batch of spy photos fell on our laps and, lo and behold, we get our first look and what looks to be the all-electric XJ.

Granted, the spy photos don’t show the heavily wrapped sedan doing blitzing test runs, but, rather, they show the sedan getting transported to an undisclosed location where it could potentially do those blitzing test runs. We’ll take our victories where we can get them, though, and this batch of spy photos is validation — to a certain extent, at least — that the Jaguar XJ EV is actually a real thing. Expect more spy photos to come in the near future. Hopefully, those photos will show the sedan with its wheels touching the ground.

Update 3/9/2020: The Jaguar XJ EV Prototype has finally be spotted. Check out the first set of prototype spy shots in our special “Spy Shot” section below!

Spy Shots

March 9, 2020 – First Electric Jaguar XJ Prototype

2021 Jaguar XJ EV Exterior Spyshots
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Prior to today, the only look we’ve had at the electric Jaguar XJ was in test-mule form with a different vehicle equipped with the electric powertrain. Now, however, we’ve caught a quick glimpse of the real deal. Long story short, it is massive, but there’s so much camo and padding that we can’t make out much in terms of details. Add that to the fact that the engineer behind the wheel was rather aggressive when it came to avoiding decent shots to be taken, and sadly, we can’t say much. Based on the one front end picture we’ve seen the XJ EV could have a rather large grille. Then again, this could be all decoy as there are only a few smaller holes near the bottom which is likely where the battery would get its cooling air from. The headlights are also decoys.

2021 Jaguar XJ EV Exterior Spyshots
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Around back, the story is pretty much the same, but we can say for sure that this is an EV thanks to the lack of exhaust outlets. The rear fascia and taillights are both non-production form. About the only thing in the rear that will see production from this prototype is the rear windscreen and the rear decklid. That little lip above the back glass might carry over too, but for the most part, this is a very early prototype. That said, I wouldn’t expect to see a production model anytime soon, with the earliest possible time being mid-2021 or early-2022. We’ll keep trying to lay eyes on the new XJ EV, but for now, you can check out our spec review below and a full gallery of spy shots at the bottom of the page.

Exterior

2021 Jaguar XJ EV Exterior Spyshots
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At first glance, the Jaguar test prototype looks more like an XF, particularly the rear section.

Don’t be fooled, though. This is an XJ developmental car, and there are clear signs that point to that. The front section and the wider fenders, despite being covered up, are clear design traits of the XJ. Sure, the rear section looks more like the XF with the traditional horizontal taillights as opposed to the XJ’s funky vertical lights configuration, but the high waistline — you’ll have to squint your eyes to see it — is also an XJ design characteristic.

We can’t see the license plates of the test mule because Jaguar coyly covered them up to prevent us from perusing more potential details about the car. Fair play, Jag. Unfortunately for Jag, no amount of swirly wraps can hide the shape of the test mule. From the long hood to the swooping roofline — only one Jag model carries this kind of design — it’s hard to mistake this model for anything other than an XJ.

The sheer size of the test mule also hints at an extended wheelbase sitting underneath all of that wrapped sheet metal. This adds another checkmark on the XJ’s side since Jag’s flagship sedan will use an all-new platform that can accommodate an electric drivetrain.

While it would’ve been better if this test mule was spotted on the road undergoing some actual testing, it is the first time that we’re actually seeing the all-electric XJ in real guise.

It’s not a rumor anymore; it’s already in its development stage, which we expect is going to take some time before the real production version comes out. Hopefully, the all-electric XJ test mule won’t be strapped up in a trailer the next time we spot it in the wild.

Interior

There are no visible shots of the test mule’s interior, so we’re going to assume that when the all-electric XJ arrives, it’s going to have an interior that will largely resemble its ICE-powered counterparts.
2021 Jaguar XJ EV Interior Exterior Spyshots
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The extended wheelbase provided by the new platform will probably change the interior dimensions — more space could be offered by the car being longer — and that spells nothing but good vibes for future owners of the all-electric sedan.

Quality shouldn’t be an issue with the XJ, either, no matter what version it comes in. Jaguar will do its part in offering plenty of leather, wood veneer, and chrome trim in the cabin. That’s all great, but if you’re going to expect these high-end materials, you also might have to brace yourselves for the possibility of seeing a lot of the cheap-looking plastic bits that have also been used in the model in the past. Let’s hope for the sake of the all-electric XJ that Jag goes light on the latter and heavy on the former.

On the tech side of things, we can expect the all-electric Jag to be equipped with all the latest tech gadgetry that Jaguar has at its disposal.

The 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system found in the ICE-powered XJs should be a staple in the dashboard of the XJ EV.

The tech has its benefits — it comes with sat-nav, Bluetooth, and a DAB radio — but it can also be a little frustrating to use. Fortunately, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now available in Jaguar models after years of Jaguar using its own smartphone integration software. That counts as a win, especially if the new all-electric XJ comes with those systems.

Truth be told, the interior of the upcoming all-electric Jaguar XJ could still look completely different from our expectations. It is, after all, an all-new model. But until we see tangible proof that Jaguar is going in that direction, it’s hard to assume otherwise.

Drivetrain

2021 Jaguar XJ EV Exterior Spyshots
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Like with most test mules, it’s hard to specifically pinpoint what kind of powertrain this test mule is carrying.

Since we’re confident that this is the all-electric XJ, the obvious guess would be a handful of electric motors and a decently sized battery pack, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, either, simply because we don’t want to get it wrong.

So in the absence of concrete proof, we’ll instead say that we noticed a fuel cap on the right rear side of the car. That’s normally where Jaguar puts the fuel cap on its models, but this one does appear to be positioned differently than the ones in the production models. It’s possible that it might not even be a fuel cap, but, rather, a cover for the plug outlet. We don’t see any other outlet on the car, though that could be because of the heavy wraps it’s wearing. That’s not an issue, though, because we are talking about a test vehicle, and from the looks of it, an early-stage one.

2021 Jaguar XJ EV Drivetrain Exterior Spyshots
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One image, in particular, did get our attention. From that specific photo, you can see what appears to be a chrome tailpipe protruding from the rear bumper. Since electric cars have no use for tailpipes, we’re guessing that the tailpipe isn’t a real one, but, instead, a fake version that’s meant to throw us off the scent on what version of the XJ this really is. We’re not discounting the possibility that it’s a real tailpipe, but our conviction that we’re looking at an early version prototype of the all-electric XJ remains steadfast.

Prices

2021 Jaguar XJ EV Exterior Spyshots
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Pricing for the all-electric Jaguar XJ can get a little tricky because of how many versions of the XJ are available. We know that the XJ is available in two different body styles: the standard-wheelbase and the long-wheelbase.

The standard-wheelbase XJ starts at $76,000 while long-wheelbase XJL begins at $85,500.

From there, the XJ50, which is available only in the standard-wheelbase, costs $88,200. Opt for the range-topping versions and you’re looking at spending $93,900 for the XJ Supercharged and $97,200 for the long-wheelbase XJL Supercharged.

Now, where do you put the all-electric XJ in that mix?

As far as best guesses go, I think that Jaguar will offer the all-electric XJ in standard-wheelbase and long-wheelbase forms. I have no inside information to support that, but it is something that makes sense for Jaguar if it wants to capitalize on the burgeoning popularity of all-electric luxury sedans. Pricing for these models should fetch somewhere in the $90,000 range. We’re basing that from the perspective that all-electric models typically occupy the top-tier range of a model lineup.

The all-electric Jaguar XJ, no matter if it’s standard wheelbase or not, should follow that trend from a pricing perspective.

Competition

BMW i7

Just like the all-electric Jaguar XJ, the all-electric BMW i7 has been talked about for a long time. The production model has yet to arrive, but we have seen spy photos of the i7 in full testing mode over the past few months. The arrival of the i7 and the all-electric XJ, not to mention the Mercedes EQS, will kickstart a segment that is finally taking shape after years of rumors and speculations about its future.

We still don’t know a lot about the i7, but there have been reports that BMW is developing two versions of the i7: a standard — if that even counts as “standard” — version and a performance version that will carry the name ’i7S.’ The latter, according to the rumor mill, will pack a pair of electric motors and a 120 kWh battery pack that can run unimpeded for as much as 360 miles before it needs to be charged. These same whispers believe that the i7S’s drivetrain can produce an impressive 670 horsepower. The ’standard’ i7, on the other hand, will come with a smaller 100-kWh battery pack and two electric motors that combine to produce 550 horsepower. Range is said to be the same, as is the all-wheel-drive layout.

The BMW i7 has been tipped to arrive by the end of 2021. Pricing details have not yet been announced, and don’t expect those details to arrive anytime soon.

Porsche Taycan

If there is one all-electric luxury sedan that Jaguar can identify and use as the bar from which to strive for, it has to be the Porsche Taycan. Fresh off its unveiling, the Taycan effectively lays the foundation from which all other European-made all-electric luxury sedans will soon stand on.

The all-electric Porsche is powered by two electric motors that work in concert with two different battery sizes: a 79.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a bigger 93.4-kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. Power ranges from 523 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque for the entry-level Taycan 4S to a whopping 761 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque for the range-topping Taycan Turbo S.

On the surface, it looks like the Taycan doesn’t occupy the same space as the all-electric Jaguar. That’s due to the high possibility of Jaguar offering the XJ EV in the posher super-luxury electric sedan segment where models like the i7 and the EQS will soon occupy. Just don’t underestimate the Taycan. That would be foolish when you consider that Porsche has become known for being a pioneer in the auto industry as far as electrification is concerned.

Conclusion

2021 Jaguar XJ EV Exterior Spyshots
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I’m looking forward to seeing the all-electric Jaguar XJ, if only for the reason that I want to see how it really compares against models like the BMW i7 and Mercedes EQS. It’s hard to say at this point because there aren’t that many details that have been made available.

But this first batch of spy photos is a good start. At the very least, it tells us that the development of the all-electric XJ has begun. From here, we’re going to wait and see how development progresses until we come to a point where we can have an idea of what to expect from Jag’s first-ever all-electric luxury sedan.

  • Leave it
    • Not enough details available
    • Lots of rivals are developing their own super luxury EV sedans
    • Jaguar will have to blow us away with its offering to the new segment
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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