Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has embarked on a two-year programme of new vehicle launches and massive industrial investments designed to transform the company’s financial fortunes and put it on a long-term, stable footing.
As well as three entirely new model lines – the new Defender family, the luxury Jaguar J-Pace SUV and a new Range Rover crossover – JLR engineers are replacing the XJ with an electric super-saloon next year and creating a new version of the evergreen Range Rover by 2022.
All of these new models will be built on JLR’s brand-new ‘flex’ MLA architecture, which offers mild- and plug-in hybrid drivetrains as well as a pure-electric option.
According to official company documents, there will also be an all-electric Range Rover model and an all-electric Discovery model before 2025. There are no plans for an all-electric Defender spin-off, though.
The internal-combustion models sold by all of Land Rover’s three so-called ‘brand pillars’ – Range Rover, Discovery and Defender – will be available in only mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms by 2025.
Autocar can also reveal the MLA-based models will have a new SOTA (software over the air) capability, with 14 ‘modules’ in the vehicle’s electrical architecture that are connected to the internet.
JLR says the new SOTA set-up will allow it to reduce warranty claims, avoid the need for some recalls, offer predictive servicing and even user-based insurance. Over-the-air feature upgrades for MLA models are also being planned, as well as “in-vehicle rewards and payments”. JLR is hoping to use data generated by real-world use of the new vehicles to inform future model development, too.
The first all-new JLR model is the Defender, which will arrive later this year and be made at the new Nitra plant in Slovakia. This is a challenging project for the British car maker because it is a new model, based on a new architecture and built in a new factory with a relatively new workforce. But as Autocar’s scoops have revealed, the new three-model Defender range has huge potential in the lucrative market for premium family SUVs.