Jaguar will cease production of the XJ sedan on July 5, Autocar reported on Thursday.
While Jaguar is yet to announce a successor, it's rumored the automaker will turn the XJ into an electric sedan rivaling the Tesla Model S. According to Autocar, we'll see this electric XJ sometime in 2020.
And it won't just be the powertrain that's expected to change. There also rumors the new XJ, the nameplate's ninth iteration, will become more of a hatch than a traditional sedan, something akin to the Porsche Panamera and aforementioned Model S.
Jaguar had been debating whether to return to a more conventional 3-box sedan shape for its next-generation XJ or stick with the current model's coupe-like design. The automaker at one point was even thought to be going with two distinct body styles for the car.
2019 Jaguar XJ
It seems Jaguar will now focus on a coupe-like design, which is probably a good move as the design will help further distinguish the car from its German rivals. And going the electric route should also keep the car relevant in a segment that's seeing buyers switch to SUVs.
But what about those buyers, especially in China, looking for a roomier option in a flagship sedan? That's where sister company Land Rover will apparently fill the void. The new “Road Rover” model that we've been hearing about will reportedly be developed alongside the electric XJ, and this one should be roomier as it will be something of a blend between a sedan and SUV.
Jaguar already has the powertrain technology for electric cars. The automaker started selling the I-Pace late last year. The small electric SUV features a 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and a twin-motor drive system delivering a combined 400 horsepower. Given the modular nature of the powertrain's design, utilizing it for a future XJ shouldn't prove too much of a challenge.
The XJ nameplate carries a lot of history. First introduced in 1968, the XJ quickly became the world’s only mass-produced 4-door car with a 12-cylinder engine. It was also the fastest 4-seater of its time. Not to mention, the XJ has carried royalty, politicians, celebrities, and other important figures for over half a century. Unfortunately, sales have dropped off sharply in recent years. Jaguar sold just 1,579 examples in the United States last year, which was one of the lowest results in decades.