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Jaguar Returns to Racing with New I-Type Electric

British maker set to join Formula E series

by on Sep.08, 2016

Jaguar will develop its own powertrain for the I-Type.

After a pouting absence following its failure in Formula 1, Jaguar is readying a return to racing, but don’t expect to hear the screech of a new V-10 or turbo engine. Jaguar’s all-new I-Type racer will move in near silence as part of the Formula E series.

The British maker will team up with – appropriately enough – battery and electronics giant Panasonic for the groundbreaking electric racing series. The partners pulled the covers off their new racer today, dubbing it I-Type 1. It will be driven in anger for the first time on October 9th, when the new Formula E season gets underway in Hong Kong.

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Considering its long motor sports history, which reached apogee on the circuit of Le Mans with legendary models like the C- and D-Types and, later, the XJR-19, why Formula E. Because, said team chairman Gerd Mauser, it’s “an innovative series with competitive, close racing in front of urban audiences. It develops EV tech and helps change the perception of electric cars.”


Land Rover Teases New 3-Row Discovery

Second “Disco” to make Paris debut.

by on Sep.06, 2016

The new Land Rover Discovery will make its debut this month in Paris, but won't go on sale until mid-2017.

Land Rover’s line-up of mid-range sport-utility vehicles is about to get a bit bigger. Actually, quite a bit bigger, considering the new model set to make its debut at the Paris Motor Show will be a three-row, seven-seater.

The British maker is offering up just this one tease image and it suggests that the new Land Rover Discovery will pick up the more tapered shape of the popular Range Rover Evoq, rather than the classic, “Disco” box.

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It is also expected to move a fair bit more up-market than the old SUV, adding a larger model to complement the Discovery Sport that came to market little more than a year ago.  Land Rover has also made it clear we’ll see a third model bearing the Disco badge in the not-too-distant future.


Brexit Vote Results Worries Global Automakers

Results could plunge EU auto industry back into recession.

by on Jun.24, 2016

Rue Brittania? The vote to exit the European Union could have a major impact on automakers.

(This story has been updated regarding Jaguar Land Rover plans for a new plant in Slovakia.)

The much anticipated vote on Brexit, which will now lead to Great Britain’s departure from the European Union, is causing widespread worry in financial and business circles around the world. And among those fearing the impact are key global automakers like Toyota, General Motors and Britain’s own Jaguar Land Rover.

Calling it “the big unknown,” one industry official warned that automakers will have to give serious thought to future trade and investments, among other things. The possibility that the Brexit vote could trigger other independence movements is adding to the worries, according to financial and political analysts.

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“All hell will break loose,” said Joe Eberhardt, the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover’s North American operations. “First of all it will have a short-term impact on the currency. My bigger concern is long term. Right away all the exporting companies in the UK will be facing tariffs because they are not part of the negotiated EU trade agreement. It would not be good for us.”


Land Rover Latest to Battle Chinese Over Car Clones

Jiangling Motors sued over Range Rover Evoque knock-off.

by on Jun.06, 2016

An Evoque by any other name? JLR sues Chinese maker Jiangling over Land Wind X7.

It takes a sharp eye to spot the differences: the subtle curve of the rear spoiler, the more rounded front grille and the slight changes to the taillights. But as far as consumers are concerned, the thing that likely matters most is that the Jiangling Landwind X7 costs barely one third as much as the Range Rover Evoque.”

And that has Britain’s Jaguar-Land Rover seeing red as it faces yet another Chinese knock-off blatantly stealing some of its business. That has been a problem faced by a number of foreign automakers – from little Smart, which has seen a Chinese clone of its Smart Fortwo, up to Ford, which has had its F-Series pickup copied down to the tie-downs in its cargo bed.

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JLR is aggressively pursuing a legal case, and it isn’t stopping at China’s borders, winning an injunction preventing the Chinese company from selling the X7 in Brazil, where Jiangling recently appointed an importer. But observers say the British firm could be in for a tough battle. A number of other makers have failed to get the courts to take action in similar lawsuits over the years.


Jaguar Brings Back the 1957 XKSS

British maker plans only nine of the $1.4 million replicas.

by on Mar.23, 2016

The Jaguar XKSS reappears after 60 years.

When a fire struck the Jaguar plant in March 1957, it destroyed the last of a batch of D-Type race cars that were going to be converted to street vehicles, and nearly doomed the British maker in the process.

Nearly six decades later, Jaguar says it will build the nine XKSS models it was never able to produce, selling them for a “severe” 1 million British pounds, or about $1.4 million at the current exchange rate.

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“We will now build the nine XKSS cars that never saw the light of day,” said Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, the unit that primarily focuses on providing parts and restoring old vehicles for their owners.


Jaguar-Land Rover Not Ready to Plug In

by on Nov.25, 2015

A Jaguar F-Type with JLR CEO Ralf Speth and Tata Motors founder Ratan Tata.

When it revealed a trio of battery-based prototypes, collectively known as Concept_e, in September, Jaguar Land Rover appeared ready to join key rivals set to electrify their luxury line-ups.

But talk of plug-in and pure battery-electric SUVs and sedans may be a bit premature, according to JLR Chief Executive Ralf Speth. While “it is clear” the British maker will eventually have to go that route to meet tough new global emissions and mileage mandates, “it will take quite a while,” he told during an interview.

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“There is only one way you have to go” because of the new rules, said Speth, but JLR is waiting for improved batteries and an expanded charging infrastructure before it makes a serious push into electrification beyond the diesel hybrid Land Rover model it introduced in Europe.


Jaguar Land Rover Slashing Costs, Targeting 1 Mil Sales

JLR planning to take a great “Leap.”

by on Nov.09, 2015

One giant leap...for JLR?

Jaguar Land Rover wants to slash nearly $7 billion in expenses even as it launches more products aimed at doubling its global sales by the end of the decade.

The project has been dubbed “Leap 4.5,” a nod to the “Leaper,” the familiar feline logo of the Jaguar side of the company. The 4.5 refers to the 4.5 billion pounds in cost savings targeted by the Indian-owned automaker. That works out to about $6.8 billion at current exchange rates.

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The plan does not call for any job cuts, according to a report in London’s Sunday Times, but it would see a slowdown in the aggressive hiring program of recent years. No cuts are planned for JLR’s capital spending budget, either.


Jaguar Land Rover Plugs in with Three Battery Concepts

Prototypes hint at future hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric models.

by on Sep.11, 2015

Jaguar's Concept_e includes a prototype battery-electric platform, a mild hybrid and a plug-in.

Like the rest of the auto industry, Jaguar Land Rover is struggling to cope with an assortment of ever-tougher fuel economy and emissions standards, including the 54.5 mpg CAFE rules that will go into place in the U.S. in 2025. That’s especially challenging when your line-up emphasizes large and high-performance products such as the Jaguar F-Type and Range Rover.

The British maker has taken a few steps to meet those mandates, adding a couple hybrids and a range of diesels and new V-6s, but it also knows that it will have to take further steps, including more lightweighting – and the addition of new, more advanced, battery-based powertrain systems.

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JLR offered a hint of what could come this week with the unveiling of three electrified concepts at a conference in Millbrook, England. Dubbed Concept_e, these “research demonstrators” went from what you might call mild to heavy use of battery power.


Jaguar Begins “Fundamental Transformation”

British maker hopes to drive demand with lower prices, more models, free maintenance.

by on Sep.03, 2015

Jaguar aims to navigate some tough challenges with new products like the XE, and redesigned models such as the 2016 XF shown here.

It can be difficult separating perceptions from reality. Just ask the folks from Jaguar, the British maker still battling an image of poor quality even though it routinely scores among the best in the auto industry.

That’s one of the key reasons, among several, why Jaguar officials believe they’ve struggled to grow at the same pace as their key competitors – or even as quickly as partner brand Land Rover. So, the British luxury carmaker is launching a major campaign that, says a senior official, is aimed at “fundamentally transforming the Jaguar brand.”

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The effort will aim to address quality concerns with, among other things, an extended warranty and a new free maintenance program. The maker will adjust pricing to make the brand more attainable. And it will bring to market an assortment of all-new and significantly updated products, including the new XE compact sedan and Jaguar’s first-ever crossover-utility vehicle, the F Pace.


Land Rover Betting Big on Diesels

U.S. Range Rover models set to get first “oil-burners.”

by on Sep.01, 2015

The 2016 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport (shown here) will offer new diesel options for the first time.

Even the most affluent motorists want to improve their fuel economy, it seems, and that has Land Rover betting it can expand its position in the U.S. market by adding a new, high-mileage diesel for its Range Rover line.

The new six-cylinder turbodiesel will deliver a 32% bump in combined fuel economy compared with the maker’s current gasoline-powered V-6, while delivering more towing capacity and nearly the same level of acceleration, Land Rover officials announced during a preview in Barcelona, Spain.

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For the maker, there are several potentials benefits: adding the higher-mileage technology will make it easier to meet increasingly tough fuel economy mandates, while also drawing in new buyers to the brand.