The purely electric successor model of Jaguar’s luxury sedan XJ, announced a year ago, is experiencing delays. The production start planned for early 2021 could not be kept, new reports suggest.
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The reasons given are the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and spending restrictions on Jaguar Land Rover. Instead of early 2021, production of the new electric car at the Castle Bromwich plant near Birmingham is to be postponed until October 2021, reports The Times. The plant is to reopen this August at a significantly reduced scale. For the time being, however, employees are to concentrate on the production of the existing XE and XF models; projects not relevant to the day-to-day business – such as the conversion of the assembly lines for a new model – will have to wait until the restrictions are further relaxed.
Production of the XJ with internal combustion engines at Castle Bromwich had ceased this July. The same team of experts will develop the announced electric successor as the Jaguar I-Pace. The electric sedan will be equipped with a 90.2 kWh battery for ranges of up to 470 kilometres.
It remains to be seen what impact the delayed start of the XJ production will have on the company’s planned electric car cluster around Birmingham – or whether delays in one of the sub-projects are the actual reason for the new schedule. JLR previously announced its intention to start up a battery assembly centre at Hams Hall, which will produce power storage units for 150,000 vehicles per year. At the Wolverhampton Engine Manufacturing Center, the company plans to manufacture its electric drive units. If one of the two stations cannot deliver as expected, this will also affect electric vehicle production at Castle Bromwich.
Update 25 September 2020: Although the start of production has probably been postponed, it seems that there will be news about the electric XJ soon: According to the transcript of an investor conference call, JLR’s CFO Adrian Mardell said that an electric Range Rover and also the Jaguar XJ would be introduced in October and November respectively. The premieres were apparently planned for August and September.
Both vehicles will be based on the new MLA platform. While the XJ is to become a classic luxury sedan (with electric drive only), less is known about the electric Range Rover. However, the vehicle, which will probably be called Road Rover internally, will be given an independent body and thus complement the range as a further model. According to Autocar, the vehicle will be about as long as a Velar (about 4.80 meters), but a little flatter – less than 1.66 meters high.
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