Jaguar is hoping to steal a march on its German executive rivals when it launches its all-new electric XJ, and our spy photographers have now caught it during its cold weather testing phase. Previous test mules have been cobbled together under XF-based bodies, but here we can judge a little bit more as to what to expect from the electrified XJ.
And the first thing to notice is that the next-generation XJ will be big – very big in fact, appearing to be both longer and wider than the previous-generation XJ. Its shape is reminiscent of the X351 model though with a sweeping fastback look to its styling, with quite a pronounced rear overhang and the possibility of five-door practicality being added to the model.
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While the current test mule is carrying a significant disguise at the moment we can glean that the XJ will sport entirely new light clusters – slimline units at the front and a full-width light at the back – as previewed in a glimpse of the next-generation XJ seen in a Jaguar Land Rover video at Frankfurt in 2019.
The new XJ will sit on the new JLR MLA platform and it will be the first Jaguar-branded model to use it. While the XJ will launch as a pure EV, the MLA platform can accommodate internal combustion engines and it’s possible that a hybrid or a conventionally powered model may join the line-up, depending on the demands of the market in different regions of the world.
While we’re not expecting the electric Jaguar XJ to be a simple reskinning of I-Pace components, it’s only natural that the company will draw heavily on the same expert team of designers and product development specialists responsible for the electric SUV to be involved with the XJ. What will be a significant change is that the XJ will be built at Jaguar’s comprehensively transformed Castle Bromwich factory, with battery and electric drive units being manufactured close by at Hams Hall.
While the XJ and the I-Pace will be very different vehicles, we expect the XJ to follow the electric SUV in having twin electric motors – one on each axle – with a combined output of around 400bhp for a sub-five second 0-62mph time and a range of around 300 miles. It’s entirely feasible that an even higher performance model could eclipse these figures, too. The battery pack will follow that of the I-Pace (and those of most potential rivals for that matter) in that it will be mounted low down in the chassis, hopefully meaning the significant weight won’t be a serious detriment to handling. The I-Pace uses a 90kWh battery, but the XJ’s larger dimensions could potentially mean a larger 100kWh item could be used.
The electric Jaguar XJ is set to make its debut in 2021 and we’ll bring you more details on Jaguar’s flagship as soon as we have them.