Jaguar will turn the XJ into an electric sedan rivaling the Tesla Model S, according to Autocar which on Monday reported that an electric XJ will be revealed in late 2018 to mark this year's 50th anniversary of the nameplate. Sales are said to follow in 2019.
And it won't just be the powertrain that will reportedly be changing. Autocar also reports that the flagship sedan 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.
2017 Tesla Model S
It seems that 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 heard about last fall 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 will start selling its I-Pace later this year. At launch, the small electric SUV will feature a 90-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and a twin-motor drive system delivering a combined 400 horsepower, and its range should be about 220 miles. Given the modular nature of the powertrain's design, utilizing it for a future XJ shouldn't prove too much of a challenge.