JLR reveals details of future MLA architecture
The platform will accommodate new electric car models, plug-in hybrids and mild-hybrids.
Jaguar Land Rover has revealed details on electric models to follow the Jaguar I-Pace to investors. New cars will share a new platform called Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) that accommodates all-electric drives, plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids.
JLR is hoping the MLA architecture will drive the company’s margin through cost reduction and new models, expects Nick Rogers, Head of Product Development. In future, JLR will build the vehicles on MLA basis at the plant in Solihull (England) and is already planning a large premium sedan and a large SUV.
The sedan is to succeed the Jaguar XJ likely next year and come equipped with a 90.2 kWh battery for a range of about 470 km. JLR intends to use this battery size for every electric vehicle on the MLA platform.
Next model up will be the Range Rover Sport, first as a plug-in hybrid to come in 2021. A 13.1 kWh battery will provide a range of up to 50 kilometres. In addition to the PHEV versions, at least one Range Rover model will also be available as a purely electric car.
However, Jaguar’s outgoing head of design, Ian Callum, expressed doubts that JLR would be able to build any future vehicle on just one platform. Although JLR is moving to the Modular Longitudinal Architecture, it will not be the only platform. According to Callum, it would be “mad” not to further develop the I-Pace platform, especially in light of JLR considering to turn Jaguar into an electric vehicle only brand within the next decade. While the proposal did not go through so far, JLR aims to offer three versions of every model, including a hybrid and electric variant by 2025.
Therefore, the Tata-owned company has been planning for a flexible architecture for some time. JLR’s head of production, Wolfgang Stadler confirmed as much last June and added that JLR plans to ready all their production hubs once the new architecture arrives. He denied any plans for a platform exclusive to electric models back then, saying it would be “irresponsible” for a small manufacturer as long as it remains unclear, which technology will become dominant in future.
Different from the MLA models, the I-Pace has a dedicated EV platform. The MLA however, needs to reserve space for the engine in the hybridised models, thus making the setup less flexible from an electric car perspective only.
Talking about motors, the BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover recently revealed they are joining forces to develop the next generation of electric drives and also establish joint purchasing in this area. The technical basis of the cooperation is already clear: in 2020 BMW will introduce the fifth generation (Gen 5) of its e-drives in the iX3. According to the announcement, the Gen 5 will provide the base for “subsequent evolutions launched together with Jaguar Land Rover”.
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