Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will stun the automotive world with the launch of a new model of the line, the Road Rover, before the end of the decade, Autocar can reveal.
The first production vehicle will be a premium electric model, aimed primarily at markets such as California in the united states and China.
Comment: how the Road Rover echoes of history
The first Road Rover is understood that a Mercedes-Benz S-Class rival in terms of absolute luxury and craftsmanship of the interiors but with a little bit of ‘all-terrain’ ability. The car can also be tuned by its impressive on-road dynamic performance, exploiting the potential delivered by electric motors.
The car could make its public debut at the los Angeles motor show at the end of 2019, with sales starting soon after. It is expected that the price will be set at around Â£90,000 for the top of the line versions.
Over time, the Road Rover line-up is expected to become a series of more than a car and the road, but still strong, vehicles.
Road Rover is to Ensure, the name of an experimental model of the company in the past. It was first proposed in the early 1950s as a bridge between Rover and cars for the original Land Rover.
The concept was revived in the 1960s as a three-door and estate, and provided the intellectual basis for the concept that became the original Range Rover.
Hard details about JLR’s plans for the new model of the line are very limited and tight secrecy around the project has enabled the progress of two years before launch, without getting to be public.
Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern is well known for the identification of potential new models â€“ what he describes as “the blank space around the already existing â€“ as seen by the successful Range Rover Evoque and the latest Range Rover Velar.
In a 2015 interview with the Director of the magazine, the McGovern said: “by 2020, there will be 22 million vehicles sold worldwide. For a mass market. We are asking: what are the products that could be of creation, which in reality does not exist, however â€“ such as the Evoque, which we did not have in our portfolio before.” The result was the Velar.
McGovern also believes that it is planning a more luxurious and different body Range Rover to take on the upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
In 2014, Wolfgang Ziebart, then the group director of engineering, hinted at JLR plans of electrification, predicting that the market for EVs is going to be split into inner city vehicles and a “second or third car for a wealthy family”. Ziebart 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 united states and China.”
In fact, Autocar understands that the first Road Rover model is being developed in parallel with the next generation XJ. The underlying structure for both of these vehicles is a new generation of aluminum structure that can accommodate both the battery packs and piston engines.
It is believed that the new XJ and the Road Rover to be a pure electric vehicle with two electric motors and on-demand all-wheel-drive. The Way Rover will be placed on the luxury end â€” the great success of the current S-Class has shown that Suvs have not done super-luxury saloon of the cars out of the market â€” and is also expected to have the height adjustable suspension to a degree of all-terrain capacity. An interval of at least 300 miles is predicted, as well as a 0-60 mph time of under 5.0 sec.
JLR has to compete head-on with premium-brand rivals such as the Porsche and Audi, which are both the launch of luxury EVs in the next two years. Perhaps the closest rival to the new Road Rover Audi E-tron Sportback, which is scheduled to be launched in the year 2019. This also has all-wheel-drive and an expected autonomy of up to 300 miles in ideal conditions.
There is No news on if the Road Rovers ‘ will have its own stand-alone design language. However, it is likely to build in the appearance of the Velar, emphasizing taut and very clean surfaces, and will have more of a shooting brake profile of other high-end electric Suv.
The new XJ and the Road Rover, along with Jaguar electric I-Pace compact SUV, will be part of JLR’s plan to comply with the strict requirements of the new Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) sales targets in California.
The calculations behind the ZEV program are extremely complex and intent to ensure that there are at least 1.5 million electric or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on the streets of California in the year 2025. It is believed that JLR will have to make sure that somewhere between 16% and 25% of all its sales are of the battery electric cars in 2025. In addition, at least nine other states of the united states have adopted the California ZEV plans, putting more pressure on the car manufacturers.
The adoption of a new brand for a range-topping electric vehicle can be seen as an unnecessary risk, especially taking into account the profile and the strength of the Range Rover brand. However, there are a number of reasons that JLR bosses concluded that an electric Range Rover was a stretch too far.
In the first place, the off-road capability of a Range Rover model can not be compromised, and an electric vehicle with a substantial battery pack would have been a significant technical challenge, especially in terms of waterproofing the drivetrain.
Second, the extraction of the maximum in the real world of the range of car batteries is essential, and this makes the aerodynamic performance a crucial part of the calculation of a new model. The frontal areas of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport are too large to work efficiently as a battery of the vehicle. In fact, the Tesla Model X is probably as high as any EV is likely to get.
Third, JLR strategists have a clear eye on the longer-term future of the brand, and what is expected in the medium-term goal of hitting annual sales of one million units. Although Jaguar has made great progress thanks to the F-Pace (and the next E-Rate also boost the brand in a significant way), the sales of Jaguar road cars are becalmed.
According to JLR figures of Jaguar is sold 94,000 XE, XF and XJ models in the 2016/17 financial year. Even with an increase in sales of the XF Sportbrake, the Jaguar road cars are unlikely to do serious, the sales of land in the next few years.
JLR bosses have clearly concluded that, in order to comply with the millions of vehicles of destination, they need to continue to exploit the huge market shift toward crossovers and Suvs, while also the hedging his bet by the construction of premium vehicles that are more efficient and less conventional, such as all-terrain.
An important underlying problem for JLR’s business risk is the risk that the market could turn against what are often parodied as ‘Chelsea tractors’: a large, imposing Suv, such as the three main models of Range Rover and the F-Pace.
Through the establishment of a new brand that is a true ‘crossover’ between the luxury road cars and all-terrain capable vehicles, JLR will not only improve your chances of growth and significantly profitable in the last year sales of 604,000 units, but also to spread the risk of any client that changes in the global new vehicle market.
Analysis: Jaguar Land Rover is thinking big and spending big
The most recent financial report makes clear how JLR is spending on the expansion of the business for the future.
The company says that in the fiscal year (FY) 2017/18, will invest between $ 4 million and Â£4.35 million in new products and in the factory, which is being built in Nitra, Slovakia. This is specialize in the construction of aluminium-bodied vehicles and the first model to be built there will be the new Discovery, according to JLR’s annual report.
Such is the rate of investment that JLR’s profit margin to slide significantly. In the first quarter of FISCAL year 2017/18, the profit margins have dropped 7.9% to 12.5% in the first quarter of FISCAL year 2016/17, although revenue crept up to Â£5.59 bn â‚¬ 5.35 million and sales grew 4.7%.
Between April and June of this year, sales rose by 16% in North America and 30% in China, but fell by 14% in the uk and 14% in other overseas markets.
However, JLR is well placed to be able to about these challenges. The sales of the Velar are increasing, and E-Pace will go on sale towards the end of this year.
Range Rover Velar review
Range Rover Sport review
Land Rover Discovery review