Jaguar land rover: the brits need a plug-in car

E ssuccess can sometimes also be a curse. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), owned by the Indian Tata Group for more than six years, is doing better than ever before. The British celebrate one record year after the next. Sales have more than doubled since 2009.

The brands don’t have a “rotten egg” in the nest. All models, whether sedans, SUVs or sports cars, are well received by customers. The design is right, the image is right, the technology is right. And yet JLR has a problem: meeting the CO2 fleet emissions required by Brussels for 2021.

Otherwise there is a threat of severe penalties. For every gram of carbon dioxide too much, the EU has threatened manufacturers with a fine of 95 euros. What sounds like little at first can add up to considerable amounts of tens of millions of euros.

For a long time, both traditional brands could comfortably lie back as so-called niche manufacturers. But now, with a combined annual output of more than 500.000 units produced, the puppy protection is over. The 95-gram rule also applies to JLR, which may still deviate a few grams upward due to the larger weight classes in which most models travel.

Jaguar wants to go to market with two pure e-models

But even 102 or even 105 g/km are currently light years away from today’s fleet value (178 g/km). Only one vehicle, the Jaguar XE with the entry-level 163-hp diesel, achieves 99 g/km. Commendable. An XJR with a supercharged V8 and 550 hp emits 264 g/km. Land Rover has a similar range, from 113 g/km (Evoque) to the big Range Rover with 299 g/km.

Compensating models such as small cars in high volumes or even plug-in hybrids as well as electric vehicles? Missing. The former will not even be available in the long term, while the latter have urgency level one.

Instead of bringing the C-X75 hybrid supercar (starred in the Bond film “Spectre”) to production readiness, Jaguar already announced plans to launch two all-electric models by the end of 2019, a sedan and an SUV.

Jaguar gains experience in Formula E

The next generation of the XJ would fit into the time frame. The current version has been built since 2009. The flagship could be positioned as a counterpart to the Tesla Model S. Jaguar would have a second iron in the fire with the F-Pace SUV (on the market since 2016), which would appeal to significantly more customers as an electric variant.

Mercedes is also backing the same crossover horse with the production version of the EQ and Audi with the C-BEV, which will probably be called the Q6 e-tron. Jaguar’s electric-powered SUV (project name J-Pace) could carry E-Pace at the rear. At least this designation has been protected.

Jaguar Land Rover is doing better than ever before

The Brits are currently gaining e-drive experience in Formula E. Here, Jaguar has a team at the start and is using the racing series to advance its expertise in the field of electromobility. The accumulated knowledge naturally also benefits its sister Land Rover. Initially, it was reported that the off-road brand was to take over the plug-in hybrid part exclusively.

Lightweight construction should help reduce carbon dioxide levels

It is uncertain whether this will continue. A BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) variant is certainly conceivable, perhaps even as a Defender, which was discontinued at the beginning of 2016 and is to be available at dealers in a new edition in 2019/20. JLR has already developed an E-module (EDM) that can be used for almost any type of transmission and can even be used as the sole drive unit. British engineers are also working on the 48-volt electrical system.

The completely newly developed two-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine from the Ingenium family will be available for worldwide sales of plug-in hybrid models starting in 2017. The 296-hp turbo unit is combined with a ZF eight-speed automatic and is used in the large models. Evoque and Discovery Sport, meanwhile, get a three-cylinder Ingenium diesel engine as a plug-in hybrid.

Lightweight construction also to help reduce CO2 emissions. It can be assumed that in the future every new all-aluminum model rolling off the production line at JLR will contain at least 75 percent recycled aluminum (internal target values) in order to massively reduce energy costs in production.

Even the Defender is made of light metal

No car brand in the world already manufactures a larger share of its portfolio in light metal. Not even the cult off-roader Defender is exempt from this, where they are even saying goodbye to the classic ladder frame and are also relying on the PLA monocoque (Premium Lightweight Architecture), as is already the case with the new Discovery (market launch: spring 2017).

Jaguar Land Rover is still keeping secret where it will manufacture which new models. The new plant in Slovakia and Magna Steyr in Graz as a partner are up for sale. The British headquarters say they are very flexible in this respect.

The Jaguar XE has already been moved from Solihull to Castle Bromwich to make way for the F-Pace, which will be produced there together with the large aluminum SUVs. Halewood is fully loaded with the Evoque, still the best seller. The convertible version has brought a further boost. In Germany alone, the open-top lifestyle SUV boosted sales of the model series by 20 percent.

The auto industry is getting greener – because it has to

The auto industry needs to reinvent itself – and that brings new alliances. Dieter Zetsche as a guest at the Green Party – in 2016, that’s possible. Because the corporations are changing.

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