- Jaguar has confirmed that the next-generation XJ luxury car will be electric, offering neither gasoline nor diesel engines. And it might not be a traditional sedan, either.
- Jaguar executives have confirmed that the next XJ will be built on electric architecture utilizing the knowledge and technology gleaned from the company’s electric-only I-Pace SUV.
- The company flashed a teaser image (above) of the next XJ’s rear deck and taillights during the launch event at the Frankfurt auto show for the Land Rover Defender, promising that the new luxury car will be sumptuous, roomy, and lust-worthy.
In line with previous Car and Driver prognostications, the next generation Jaguar XJ will be a pure electric vehicle like the company’s I-Pace SUV. But will it be a conventional four-door luxury sedan in the mold of the current XJ or Mercedes-Benz S-class?
Very possibly not. We will find out sometime in 2020, when the new XJ is slated to go on sale, probably in Britain and across Europe first—when it will reach American dealerships is not clear. The company created an audaciously handsome design for its electric I-Pace, which looks like a mashup of a sports sedan and an SUV. That could be the blueprint for its New Age luxo-electric.
Our illustration of a possible XJ sedan (above) admittedly has it looking like the logical successor to the current 10-year-old sedan. But Jaguar slipped a teaser photo of the next SJ’s rear deck and taillights into the the Land Rover Defender media-launch video at the Frankfurt show, and it’s anything but conclusive. Squint and you can see the tail of an XJ sedan. Squint again and it could belong to a tall and sleek luxury SUV.
According to the U.K. publication Autocar, Jaguar execs promised that the new XJ won’t be a conventional size-large luxury sedan that’s simply had its internal-combustion engines swapped for an electric powertrain. They noted how an EV’s different construction and layout has led them to reimagine what “luxury car” means. Our take: it means “sexy-looking luxury SUV-like thing.” Which is exactly what the I-Pace is—the vehicle that the execs say informed their plan for the new XJ.
With the engineering, tooling, and validation of the I-Pace’s architecture and electric powertrain already completed and financed, it makes perfect sense for Jaguar to leverage those assets for a relatively low-volume, range-topping luxury car. To put that in perspective, the I-Pace we tested weighed 4951 pounds, delivered 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque, accelerated to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, and boasted an EPA driving range of 234 miles. All of those stats would be more than adequate in an ultraluxury vehicle.
Rumors have swirled for some time that Jaguar has been considering converting its entire lineup of of conventionally powered cars and SUVs to electric-only propulsion. The upcoming XJ indicates those rumors could well be true.