Jaguar J-Pace project terminated; MLA platform curtailed [Update]

Jaguar Land Rover will not develop brand new models using the MLA platform, reports Automotive News Europe. Officially, the move has led to the cancellation of the all-new Jaguar XJ electric sedan. Unofficially, future projects Road Rover and Jaguar J-Pace electric SUVs are among the casualties due to the decision.

Media reports were rife of the existence of the Jaguar J-Pace until early 2021. Word on the European media was that this car was Jaguar’s answer to the likes of Tesla Model X, BMW iX, and Mercedes EQE SUV (debuting in 2022).

Jaguar J-Pace – What could have been

In 2019, Autocar was speculating that the Jaguar J-Pace was just over two years away and would arrive around the same time as the fifth-gen Range Rover. If true, JLR must’ve finalized the design, and engineers would have been burning the midnight oil in the expectation of introducing it as a formidable challenger to the Tesla Model X.

Going by British media reports, the J-Pace was to be a mid-height model sitting on the MLA platform and expected to measure around 4.9 meters in length. The MLA platform is EV-ready, after all, so multiple electric variants could have been in its business plan.

The smaller Jaguar I-Pace could’ve influenced the J-Pace’s design, meaning a low roofline with a higher focus on style rather than space. The interior was to boast OLED screens, raising the brand’s interior standards in terms of quality and technology. A flat floor for a lounge-like experience was also expected in the electric SUV that never happened.

The MLA platform can reportedly allow packaging EVs with battery packs as large as 100 kWh. This could have made achieving a range of around 300 miles in Europe’s WLTP test procedure fairly easy. The J-Pace could have come in single-motor RWD and dual-motor AWD configurations. Prices were expected to start in the range of $80,000-85,000.

MLA platform now reserved for the premium Range Rovers

The MLA platform will underpin two new-generation models, namely the 2022 Range Rover, and the 2023 Range Rover Sport. Cancellation of the various MLA platform-based models is costing JLR £1 billion ($1.4 billion), CFO Adrian Mardell told analysts. However, the company is willing to bear that loss for the greater good, which would be the implementation of its Reimagine strategy, with which it expects to become net cash positive by 2025.

Jaguar becoming an EV brand from 2025

Under JLR’s new Reimagine strategy, Jaguar will turn into an EV-only brand in 2025. New Jaguar models at the starting gate in 2025 will be exclusively EVs. A new pure electric vehicle platform will underpin these models. The company wants greater differentiation between its two brands, meaning Jaguar may get fewer SUVs than previously reported.

JLR will invest around GBP 2.5 billion annually into electrification technologies and connected services. The company expects 100% of Jaguar sales to come from EVs by 2030. Around 60% of Land Rover sales should come from EVs by that time. Then, by 2039, JLR aims to carbon neutrality across its supply chain, products, and operations. That would include Land Rover also becoming an EV-only brand.

Design of the next-gen Jaguar models ready

JLR CEO Thierry Bollore has told Auto Express that the company has completed the initial design work for a new Jaguar line-up and that the Jaguar brand will move up the ladder to become a Bentley competitor. Costing close to GBP 100,000, the new Jaguars would help enhance the brand image and focus more on healthy profitability than volumes.

The British publication claims that three all-new Jaguar models are likely in the pipeline – two crossovers and a two-door sports car, designed by Gerry McGovern. The new models should be like nothing else available in the market today, with Bollore citing the example of the E-Type. The company hasn’t finalized the platform, but one thing is clear, they have to be EVs developed from the ground up.

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The Jaguar J-Pace program has reportedly been canceled.

Display image: Jaguar Land Rover