Nearly-ready electric Jaguar XJ gets scrapped even as JLR announces its EV push

Zac Palmer
·3 min read

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A smattering of news from Jaguar Land Rover landed this morning concerning the brands’ electric futures. One sentence partway through Jaguar’s long press release caught our eye, though, and it has to do with the Jaguar XJ.

“Although the nameplate may be retained, the planned Jaguar XJ replacement will not form part of the lineup, as the brand looks to realize its unique potential,” the press release states.

If you’ve been following Jaguar XJ news, you’d know that Jaguar planned on making the next-generation XJ a fully electric car. It’s been in development for several years. Jaguar has been talking it up pre-reveal, and we’ve even spied the car out testing a couple times. We were expecting a debut event for this new electric XJ to happen any time now. Theoretically, it should fit in perfectly with Jaguar’s vision to sell 100% electric cars by 2030, right? Apparently not, because it’s dead.

We contacted Jaguar to get a better explanation for what is going on here.

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When queried, a spokesperson sent us this in response: “Following a thorough technology review against the exponential change in the automotive industry, we concluded that the planned XJ replacement does not fit with our vision for a re-imaged Jaguar brand. We have made the tough decision that it will not form part of the lineup, as the brand looks to realize its unique potential. However, the nameplate may be retained.”

To make doubly sure that Jaguar is indeed throwing out a nearly-ready EV the same day it announces an all-EV future, we asked again, and Jaguar confirmed.

“We were working on an XJ EV, but have moved on to a different approach for the entire Jaguar EV lineup vision based around a new unique Jaguar EV dedicated platform, all due in 2025,” a spokesperson sent us.

So there you have it. The electric XJ was said to be built on the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform, and Jaguar touted it as "the world's first, full-electric luxury sports saloon.” Now that there’s a new Jaguar-dedicated EV platform in the works, the XJ on the MLA platform is canned.

We asked Jaguar for more details about the why of this situation, and the above, quoted explanation hints at it. Maybe the “technology review” found that the car Jag was putting together just didn’t measure up to the competition? The new platform will certainly offer much better performance and range than Jaguar’s current technology is capable of. That said, this new platform is still years down the road.

This comes the same day that Mercedes-Benz told us it was no longer going to sell the EQC in the U.S. under similarly murky explanations.

There’s still a chance that we see an electric XJ in the future, but it’ll likely be very different than the car Jaguar has been working on for the past few years. The future EVs are promised to be “exuberant and dramatic in nature, while also being highly differentiated.” Those won’t arrive until 2025, though. In the meantime, your electric Jaguar options start and finish with the fun and quirky I-Pace.

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