Not ludicrous: Jaguar's drive toward an electric car should put Tesla on notice

2016 Jaguar XJ
England-based Jaguar is making huge investments in battery-powered drivetrains in order to beat its rivals to the lucrative premium electric car segment. The company’s plans haven’t been made public yet, but a recent report reveals it’s busily developing at least two electric models that are set to debut before the end of the decade.

Jaguar’s first-ever all-electric model will take the form of a four-door coupe that will be about the same size as the XJ, the company’s current flagship model. Called X590 internally, it will ride on a new platform designed with a focus on electric mobility and autonomous driving. The autonomous tech is currently being developed in-house, but the hardware that makes up the electric drivetrain will be sourced externally, according to Automobile Magazine.

Project X590 will fight in the same segment as the Tesla Model S, and it could replace the XJ (pictured) altogether if it’s popular enough. However, the current-gen XJ will stick around for at least a few more years in case the electric sedan fails to catch on as planned and Jaguar needs a gasoline-burning flagship.

Jaguar’s electric car offensive also includes an SUV with a head-turning design. It’s scheduled to arrive later than the sedan so details about it are a little murky, but insiders have hinted that the lineup will include both rear- and all-wheel drive models and no less than three battery-pack options. It will be built alongside the X590 by contract manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria starting in 2019. Jaguar believes it can sell up to 30,000 examples of the sedan annually, and up to 50,000 examples of the SUV because it will cost less.

Read more: How Jaguar – Land Rover is designing cars that will drive better than you

Developing electric cars is expensive, and there are already two casualties in Jaguar’s product portfolio that can be chalked up to the upcoming EVs. The first is the successor to the XK, which was expected to take the form of a high-end 2+2 coupe built on a stretched version of the F-Type‘s platform, and the second is the production version of the C-X75, a supercar that seemingly has more lives than a cat.


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