Jaguar has confirmed plans to add an all-new model at the top of its SUV line-up sharing its underpinnings with several upcoming Land Rover models.
The British automaker also has confirmed it is looking into the possibly of adding several new “baby Jags,” which it describes as “considerably less expensive” SUVs “possibly badged A-Pace or B-Pace.”
The focus on future utility vehicles should come as no surprise considering the global shift away from passenger cars. Since adding the original F-Pace, Jaguar’s three SUVs now represent the majority of the British marque’s sales. And with the trend towards light trucks continuing, Jaguar joins brands as diverse as Ford, Toyota and Volvo in racing to add more utility vehicles to their line-ups.
Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralph Speth offered a first look at some of Jaguar’s models to members of the World Car of the Year jury last week. The special treatment is no surprise considering the group presented an unprecedented three separate awards to the I-Pace during the New York International Auto Show last April, The automaker said it is “hungry” for a repeat as it expands its line-up and wanted to bring those jurors up-to-date on what it has coming.
What Jaguar is currently referring to as the J-Pace will share a new, modular platform, dubbed MLA, that will be used for a number of upcoming products from the sibling Land Rover side of the company. That includes the new Defender, as well as the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models. This marks the first time a platform will be shared between the two brands. Whether the J-Pace will gain the sor
t of off-road capabilities of its Land Rover counterparts is not yet clear, however.
But the MLA platform has been designed to allow for various forms of electrification and, before the end of the J-Pace lifecycle, it will be offered with mile and plug-in hybrid options. A fully electric version is also rumored to be a possibility. That would be no surprise, considering Speth has already forecast that 20% of new vehicles sales will go electric by 2025.
Along with the big J-Pace, Jaguar is looking at further SUV options at the lower end of the market. And that could include “several … baby Jags” That would suggest that the automaker sees a significant expansion in demand for subcompact and even smaller utes as still more buyers migrate away from sedans, coupes and hatchbacks.
That’s not to say Jaguar is abandoning the passenger car market entirely. In a statement discussing the future product reveal, the company said it isn’t walking away from all of its traditional lines. Looking forward, there will be “replacements for the current XE and F-TYPE,” as well as the big XJ sedan.
But with that traditional Jaguar flagship we will see another significant transition, as the plan calls for it to debut in all-electric form. There have been many questions about that transition since Jaguar first announced the battery-car version earlier this month. Among other things, it was unclear whether t
he new XJ would be offered with multiple powertrain options. But the statement from Jaguar appears to rule that out, noting that the “electric XJ…will succeed the combustion version which rolled off the production line for the last time on July 5.”
Speth has been a big proponent of electrification and, in his presentation to World Car jurors he said, “Jaguar values modern mobility as a basic right, and environmental protection as an obligation.”