Currently reading: Radical electric Jaguar SUV planned for 2017
Dramatically styled battery-powered 4x4 is poised to go on sale in 2017, priced at around £60,000, as Jaguar takes the lead in ushering in a new era of electric vehicles from JLR

An all-electric Jaguar SUV will be revealed next year before going on sale in 2017 - and Autocar has learned that some of the most flamboyant styling touches of the C-X75 hypercar concept will be used on the new model as the firm seeks to ensure that it stands apart from rivals.

The Jaguar I-Pace has been revealed, take a look here.

The car’s mooted launch date puts Jaguar in direct competition with Audi, which is planning to launch the production version of its all-electric Q6 e-tron quattro concept, first revealed at this year’s Frankfurt show, early in 2018. Both vehicles are set to offer a range of around 300 miles and cost about £60,000. However, the Tesla Model X will beat both to market, going on sale in the UK next year.

Beyond the bodystyle, price and target range, few details are known about Jaguar’s first EV. Sources suggest an electric motor will be mounted inboard at each corner, retaining the use of driveshafts, although there remains the possibility of Jaguar making a technology leap with in-wheel motors.

Parent firm Tata has previously pioneered the technology, and insiders say the company has made significant progress with overcoming the problem of the additional unsprung weight of in-wheel motors.

Jaguar hopes to outpunch all rivals, however, by giving 
the car the most distinctive styling of any EV on the market. It is understood that Tata has given the green light for Jaguar to pioneer the group’s  all-electric technology and wants the brand’s first such model to deliver a distinctive statement of its intent to lead in electrification. The styling is said to be revolutionary, in the way that the BMW i brand sits separately from the firm’s mainstream models.

It is reported that this fact played a key role in the decision to allow the C-X75 to be used in the latest Bond film, Spectre. The car, which was built as a concept for the 2010 Paris show, was powered by four electric motors driven by diesel-fed gas turbines and had an electric range of about 30 miles. It was announced that up to 250 production cars would be made, powered by a downsized turbocharged petrol engine.

Although prototypes were made in conjunction with the Williams F1 team, the project was cancelled at the height of the economic downturn in December 2012.

Now, however, the C-X75’s enduring popularity - driven by its appearance in the Bond film - and its original role as a standard bearer for ground-breaking technology are set to be harnessed in the design of the all-electric SUV.

Blog - Why Jaguar is taking a leaf out of Tesla's book

As such, a debut at next year’s Paris show, six years after the C-X75 was first shown, is said to be a distinct possibility. It will be revealed as a concept - and our rendering is highly speculative - but the production version’s styling is said to be nearly identical to the upcoming show car, in line with Jaguar design director Ian Callum’s mantra of only showing concepts that are very close to production reality.


Read our review

Car review

Jaguar takes a typically sporting approach with the F-Pace, but it isn't quite enough to better its sibling, the Land Rover Discovery Sport

Back to top

This decision also explains why Jaguar resisted the urge to use the C-X75’s appearance in Spectre to reignite sales plans for the hypercar. The benefits and profitability of selling even 250 C-X75s at around £750,000 each are said to be marginal beyond boosting brand profile, but 
the launch of Jaguar’s first 
all-electric vehicle is a crucial step in the firm’s growth.

It is understood the all-electric SUV will sit on the same aluminium architecture as the Jaguar XE and F-Pace. The platform was designed with an all-electric powertrain in mind, as well as a variety of hybrid and plug-in hybrid applications.

Earlier this year JLR announced it was stepping up development of ultra-low-emissions technologies by doubling the size of its engineering and design centre in Whitley, Coventry. The site is expanding from 55 to 110 acres and has been earmarked for advanced powertrain and engineering teams, plus Jaguar’s design and advanced design departments and the firm’s global headquarters.

The investment is motivated by increasingly tight global emissions legislation, led by new Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) rules introduced in California and adopted by seven other US states.

These laws demand that, between 2018 and 2025, the number of new ZEVs sold must rise from 5% of all new cars to 15.4%. With those standards set to be replicated in many global markets, Jaguar and Land Rover must be able to meet targets to avoid penalties.

Jaguar also believes it has the ability to seize the initiative over its rivals by launching its first all-electric SUV ahead of or in line with their targets. With global demand for SUVs growing, insiders are said to believe that the timing of their launch and the bodystyle are perfectly positioned.

Sources also highlight Jaguar’s global dealer network as a key asset. It has been ramped up this year for the launch of the XE and F-Pace, and officials believe the size of the network gives them an opportunity to leapfrog Tesla’s customer reach.

Although Jaguar is leading JLR’s EV charge, Land Rover is expected to follow suit once its models move onto the new common architecture.

Back to top

While Jaguar wants to maintain the sporty performance of its cars even in all-electric spec, Land Rover is said to be willing to trade performance for opulence and refinement. It plans to take advantage of the near-silent powertrain characteristics to set new standards in cabin ambience, as well as using the instant torque of electric motors to enhance off-road ability.

Previously, JLR has applied for patents for technology related to inductive charging, suggesting it could combine the launch with wireless charging. The firm has also applied to trademark the name ‘EV-Type’, although this is no indication of a definitive name. The car is likely to be made at the Magna Steyr factory in Graz, Austria. Jaguar has confirmed that it will be moving some model lines to the facility to free up capacity in the UK. The smaller scale of the Graz facility would be well suited to the electric model.

The new cars Jaguar's electric SUV must beat

Tesla Model X (2016) - Tesla has already started deliveries of its Model X SUV in the US. It’s due to go on sale in right-hand-drive form next year, priced at around £65k. It sits on the same platform as the Model S, and early models will share a powertrain with the high-performance P90D version of that car. The Model X’s standout feature is its spectacular gullwing rear doors, designed to make it easier to get in and out of the rear cabin.

Audi Q6 e-tron quattro (2018)The Jaguar’s biggest mainstream rival will come from Audi, which has already promised to launch a production version of its e-tron quattro concept by 2018. The electric Q6 should be right in the middle of the Jaguar’s price range, since Audi sources have said their car will cost the same as a well-equipped A6 - or around £60k. Expect a three-motor set-up - one front, two rear - with a total of more than 430bhp, along with a battery range of around 300 miles.

Volvo Electric SUV (2019)Volvo is already committed to providing plug-in hybrid versions of its entire line-up, but the Swedish car maker will also launch a fully electric model by 2019. It’s almost certain to be a mid-sized SUV, slotting in below the Volvo XC90 but with a price similar to that of the Audi and Jaguar. Volvo’s electric SUV is expected to be based on the same Scalable Platform Architecture as the XC90 and use lithium ion battery tech to provide a range of around 325 miles.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
chandrew 13 November 2015

And the charging infrastructure

A big reason for Tesla's success is that it has built a global charging infrastructure. The standard slow charging points designed for City cars are not suitable for these larger vehicles which are designed to do longer trips. It's all as well announcing new cars but the big question all manufacturers omit is how they're going to deploy the charging infrastructure needed.
Citytiger 12 November 2015

Now, this is truly staggering

Now, this is truly staggering. For the past two years, the Volvo XC60 has reigned supreme as Europe’s most successful premium compact SUV, ahead of the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and the Mercedes Benz GLK.

This is great news for Volvo, on the back of its recent purchase of Polestar, as it looks to consolidate its position in order to rival AMG and BMW’s M division. In 2013, the Volvo XC60 was the fourth best-selling compact premium SUV in Europe, behind the Range Rover Evoque, Audi Q5 and BMW X3. In 2014 the Porsche Macan, Lexus NX and BMW X4 entered the segment, but didn’t dent the XC60’s sales performance.

Volvo managed to sell 62,845 units, whereas Audi sold 60,679 Q5s, Land Rover sold 50,838 RR Evoques and BMW sold 48,229 X3s. The sales figures of the GLK, Macan, X4 and NX did not really pose much of a threat at this time.

In 2015, the official numbers of the first quarter are as follows; Volvo sold 18,173 units of the XC60, Land Rover sold 16,135 units of the Range Rover Evoque, Audi sold 15,584 units of the Q5, BMW sold 10,828 units of the X3, Mercedes Benz sold 6,562 units of the GLK, BMW sold 6,108 units of the X4, Land Rover sold 5,803 units of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Porsche sold 5,733 units of the Macan while Lexus sold 3,764 units of the Lexus NX.

Rumours are abuzz that a new-generation XC60 is coming in 2016, and it seems like other automakers really have a big challenge on their hands to challenge the XC60’s domination of the marketplace.

Citytiger 12 November 2015

Amazing, Volvo could produce

Amazing, Volvo could produce a midsized SUV to slot in below the XC90, perhaps they will call it the new XC60, and seeing as all mid and large Volvo's are to be built on SPA, its fairly certain this will be as well, and considering the XC60 is still selling very well, it would make perfect sense.