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.
The electric XJ, first reported by Autocar in 2015, replaces the outgoing XJ saloon, which has just ended a decade-long production run at the Castle Bromwich plant near Birmingham.
The new model – due in around 12 months – is expected to be an unashamed super-luxury car in the mould of more expensive Mercedes-Benz S-Class variants (setting it well apart from the ageing Tesla Model S), while also being more driver orientated.
JLR will be hoping that the XJ steals a march on premium EV rivals, offering a zero-emission luxury vehicle that’s ideal for East Asian megacities. Later on, plug-in petrol-electric versions of the XJ will be launched.
Next up at the remodelled Castle Bromwich plant will be the Jaguar J-Pace, which will be larger and more upmarket than the F-Pace. The J-Pace is also expected to be offered as a pure EV and is unlikely to be made public until early 2021.
The upcoming fifth member of the Range Rover family, due in late 2021 and scooped by Autocar in 2017, is also based on the MLA platform. It’s described on JLR documents as a “medium SUV” and is expected to sit between the Evoque and Velar.
It will be more road orientated and its smaller frontal area will ensure it will be the most economical member of the Range Rover family as well as the first all-electric Range Rover. Despite JLR registering the historic Road Rover nameplate, there’s no news on what name the showroom version will take.