Jaguar is gearing up to turn the next iteration of its XJ full-size sedan into an all-electric, high-tech luxury flagship, according to a report by the UK's Autocar magazine.
It reports the "reinvented" sedan will be launched late this year, as the 2018 Jaguar XJ celebrates its 50th anniversary, and go on sale in 2019.
It sounds like a radical idea, but one that comes along as car manufacturers everywhere are wrestling with what to do with their sedan models, which continue to give up market share to crossovers and SUVs in all segments of the marketplace.
An electric XJ (it's not confirmed that name will live on) would give Jaguar three things: one is a second EV to sell alongside the I-Pace; the second is a car that would conceivably compete with the likes of the Tesla Model S; and third, Autocar points out it would position a big Jag sedan as a "cutting edge" alternative to full-size fixtures like the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Autocar says the new XJ will share underpinnings with a forthcoming car-like Land Rover Range Rover variant and will sport an aluminum-intensive five-door body style instead of a traditional sedan body. According to Jaguar design boss Ian Callum, the decision to go with a hatchback body was directly influenced by the Tesla Model S.
For all that Autocar apparently knows about the project, it doesn't claim to have much information about the car's performance, saying only the "electric drivetrain will enable strong performance," and a range "well in excess of 480 km (300 miles) is expected." The upcoming I-Pace promises 0-100 km/h acceleration in about four seconds, and a range of roughly 386 km on the EPA cycle.
The 2018 Jaguar XJ's most recent update was the addition of a performance model called the XJR575.
Jaguar Canada did not immediately respond to our request for confirmation, but we'll update this story if that changes.