A new all-electric Range Rover model is in the mix as the company looks to emulate the success of Tesla in the luxury EV sector
30 October 2014

Land Rover is considering a new battery-powered Range Rover model to counter the increasing success of Tesla in the luxury car sector, Autocar understands.

The electric Range Rover would probably be more of a low-roofed crossover-style model than a battery-powered version of the current Range Rover.

Jaguar Land Rover group engineering director Wolfgang Ziebart recently hinted at the plans when he spoke to an industry newspaper about JLR’s view on an EV. Ziebart said the market for EVs was split into inner city vehicles and a “second or third car for a wealthy family”.

Zeibart suggested that the latter segment had potential for JLR and that any EV would be the size of a “Jaguar XJ” and aimed at the US and China.

Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern also strongly hinted in the press recently that the company was working on expanding the Range Rover brand with what he described as “incredibly luxurious, low-slung” Range Rovers. Such a model would be more biased to on-road performance but still capable of cross-country driving thanks to height-adjustable air suspension.

It seems that this crossover model could be sold in conventional petrol and diesel-powered forms, as well as a purely battery-powered guise. 

Building a car with a much smaller frontal area would be key to making the battery-powered concept work. Any future electric Range Rover model would have to match the Tesla Model S’s official range of 265 miles to be regarded as competitive, something that would be difficult using a similarly aerodynamically blunt profile to the current car’s.

If the new model gets the go-ahead, it will be based on a version of Range Rover’s aluminium monocoque architecture, modified to accommodate a substantial battery pack. All-wheel drive, delivered by using motors on both the front and rear axles, also seems a certainty. 

It is possible that this proposed crossover could share its basic suspension system with the upcoming Jaguar CX-17 crossover, which is likely to have less extreme travel than that which is used on today’s Range Rover and Range Rover Sport

A more road-biased set-up with air springs would allow the Range Rover EV to run a low ride height at motorway speeds, which would improve aerodynamic performance and stretch the maximum range from a battery pack.

Judging by the pricing for today’s Model S, any Range Rover EV would have to cost as much as £90,000 or more, but it seems that JLR planners are considering offsetting the extra cost over a Tesla by selling such a model with a very high standard specification.

Investing in an electric crossover model could be a significant risk for JLR, but Land Rover bosses clearly have to take the premium EV market seriously, partly as a result of the rise and rise of Tesla.

Financial and market analysts have been suggesting that “greenness” is now seen as an “indivisible part of a premium brand”, especially for customers in the highest income brackets. 

The Model S has already become the best-selling luxury model in some of the US’s most affluent postcodes and the car has recently started to outsell established models, such as the Audi A8 and the BMW 7-series, in Europe. 

China is also expected to become a significant market for battery-powered luxury vehicles over the next few years, as the Chinese government pushes hard for the adoption of EVs to help combat the country’s serious air pollution problems.

Also in JLR's future plans - the new Defender for 2016

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Our Verdict

Range Rover
Range Rover has a maximum wading depth of 900mm

The fourth-generation Range Rover is here to be judged as a luxury car as much as it is a 4x4

30 October 2014

So take a ludicrously heavy SUV and make it even heavier, like an EV. All in the name of saving fossils. It'll be even heavier than the Tesla, given its height and that JLR's aluminium stuff generally works out heavier than the steel competition, for some weird reason.

30 October 2014

Did you even read the article?

SKH

30 October 2014

I read what Mr McGovern was hinting about a forthcoming Range Rover model that would be an incredibly luxurious low slung cruiser, that is more on road biased, but still with credible off road abilities via air suspension last month on another car site.

Sounds like a latter day Rover 3500 SD1 'executive express' on steroids with awd. He mentioned how originally Bentley and Porsche started with sports cars, but now have saloons and SUV type products so why can't Land Rover reverse that? A Range Rover competitor to the Audi A7, Porsche Panamera, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe?

The XE,/New XF platform would be a good starting point, and would certainly allow for greater economies of scale for that platform.

A34

30 October 2014

Given the lack of infrastructure (/desire to invest in recharge points) JLR would be wiser to take the i3 route: Use the new 2.0 and sufficient batteries for a reasonable range + town use. Even use FWD IC and RWD EV. Teslas work well for owner-drive-commuters, but as mentioned in the article, JLR want to target the 2nd/3rd car in the garage...

30 October 2014

Looks like Telsa really are a game changer. The German and Indian car companies have got to play the catch-up game and it's something they're not been to used to modern times.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

wmb

30 October 2014

With Tesla coming soon coming with an SUV (who's timing and arrival date is ANYBODIES guess!), I can see why JLR is interested in building their own. And with Tesla's vehicles using a lot of aluminum, it may seem that Tesla's efforts are aimed squarely at the aluminum intensive offerings of JLR (especially with the price point that Tesla currently sales in). But I don't think JLR, in an effort to be competitive with Tesla, should create a yvehicle that directly competes with their current products. They should build a four coup, in the vain of the 6 series Grand Coup, A7 and X6. That way, from a price point, the petro and oil burner versions would have a place to live with over lapping the XF and XJ. Then the EV versions could, like their R brand, could stand apart but command a premium as a second or third vehicle in an affluent household.

30 October 2014

...why a Range Rover would need to be 'low-slung'. Isn't this what Jaguar is for?


SKH

31 October 2014
bomb wrote:

...why a Range Rover would need to be 'low-slung'. Isn't this what Jaguar is for?

If it's a large low slung awd fastback hatch then imo it would be better suited as a Land Rover/Range Rover product, or even R O V E R with discrete 'Land Rover Design & Engineering' badges on it somewhere, rather than badging it a Jaguar. With that being said, a 5 door Jaguar XE along the lines of BMW's 4-Series Gran Coupe would be pretty tasty.

30 October 2014

I wonder what JLR's battery strategy is? All manufacturers are going to struggle to obtain batteries at the same low cost as Tesla, once its 'Gigafactory' is up and running. Maybe JLR can partner with Tesla on a European battery factory? My fear for JLR, BMW, etc is that the Tesla juggernaut is fast approaching, and by the time they realise what's about to hit them it'll be too late.

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