Jaguar in July hinted that it is considering an SUV positioned below the compact E-Pace, something to be named an A-Pace or B-Pace and potentially developed alongside a sister model from Land Rover. Talk of the baby Land Rover dates back several years, with the automaker even bagging the Landy name, which is often used as an affectionate term for its vehicles. A revival of the Freelander name has also been rumored.
Developing a suitable platform would be costly and potentially even unprofitable for Jaguar Land Rover, but the growing partnership between the British automaker and BMW could be an alternative, Autocar reported on Monday.
Jaguar Land Rover and BMW are already collaborating on electric drive systems, and there's talk of an internal-combustion engine deal brewing, so perhaps the partnership could be expanded to platform sharing. We're talking the sharing of BMW's newest front-wheel-drive platform known as FAAR. It debuted this year in a redesigned 1-Series hatchback.
According to the Autocar report, the FAAR platform would be suitable not only for the baby Jaguar and Land Rover SUVs but also redesigned versions of the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport compact SUVs. Presumably, the related E-Pace would also move the FAAR platform once it's due for a redesign.
Sharing the FAAR platform could be a shrewd move for Jaguar Land Rover at this time of slowing sales in China and Europe for the automaker, especially as it needs to spend big to develop electric and self-driving cars. In July, it required a taxpayer guarantee for a $626 million loan to support the transformation of the Castle Bromwich plant in the United Kingdom into a hub for electrified vehicles, with the first model due out to be an electric XJ.