2019 Jaguar XJ – what we know so far

Jaguar's flagship luxury saloon will be reborn as an electric vehicle to challenge the Tesla Model S, and is one of 12 cars in contention for this year's What Car? Reader Award...

 2019 Jaguar XJ rendering
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Darren Moss
21 Nov 2018 10:10

On sale: 2019 | Price from: £65,000 (est)

The Jaguar XJ luxury saloon has a history stretching back 50 years, and throughout its various generations and guises, one thing has remained constant: it has always been Jaguar's flagship model. Now, it's being reinvented as a purely electric car that will take on traditional luxury saloons such as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class as well as electric rivals such as the Tesla Model S and Porsche's upcoming Taycan.

The Jaguar XJ is one of 12 cars in contention for the 2019 What Car? Reader Award, where you can vote for the most highly anticipated new car of 2019. Head over to our voting site to cast your vote.

2019 Jaguar XJ styling

Acting as both a style and technology showcase for Jaguar, the new XJ will retain its sleek profile but have a more conventional five-door layout, as opposed to today’s four-door car. Such a change is likely to make the XJ more practical, not least because its boot lid will open far wider than it would on a saloon.

In terms of looks, the XJ will be the first of a new generation of Jaguars. As such, elements from its design will eventually filter down to other models in the range.

It will sit on a new aluminium platform that will eventually underpin multiple models from both Jaguar and Land Rover. Indeed, among the new cars planned to use the platform is a new ‘Road Rover’ luxury SUV that's scheduled to go on sale in around 2020. This is expected to be Land Rover’s first pure-electric product.

2019 Jaguar XJ power

The new XJ's platform will support dual electric motors and four-wheel drive. A range of more than 300 miles is expected from the new car, as is as an impressive 0-62mph sprint time. By comparison, today’s range-topping Model S, the P100D, offers an official range of 381 miles and can reach 60mph from a standing start in 2.5sec.

Jaguar has experimented with electrification on the XJ before, with 2009’s XJ Limo Green prototype. That car featured an electric motor and a 1.2-litre petrol range-extender engine, meaning the engine re-charged the car's battery when it was depleted. The XJ Limo Green’s single electric motor could power the car for up to 30 miles at a time.

The XJ’s arrival should be well timed, with the I-Pace SUV having turned the heads of buyers looking for an electric Jaguar. In particular, the new XJ is tasked with growing Jaguar’s market share in China and the US.

Wider electric plans

The rebirth of the XJ is part of a wider plan to fully electrify Jaguar’s model range. The current XE and XF saloons are expected to be replaced by a new all-electric SUV when they reach the end of their life cycles in around 2023, while the existing E-Pace and F-Pace SUVs would be replaced by a new I-Pace in around 2025. That would leave Jaguar’s upcoming largest SUV, the J-Pace, as its sole combustion-engined vehicle, surviving until around 2027.

Jaguar Land Rover has been hit hard recently by both uncertainty around Brexit and the slump in demand for diesel vehicles. The firm’s Castle Bromwich factory announced a three-day working week in September, following news that more than 1000 agency staff wouldn't have their contracts renewed in April. The site currently builds Jaguar's XE, XF and XJ saloons.

The new electric cars coming soon

Demand for electrified cars has surged in the last four years, with registrations increasing from around 3500 in 2013 to almost 119,000 in 2017. However, they still represented only around 6% of the UK car market – and the majority of that was plug-in hybrids rather than fully electric models.

The reason for this is that many of today's fully electric cars have quite a limited range between charges, making them unsuitable for long journeys. But a host of manufacturers are preparing to launch new models that solve this issue, while also offering stylish looks and innovative technology. Here we take a look at what's coming when, starting with the Audi E-tron.

Audi E-tron

On sale Early 2019 Price from £71,000 (est)

In terms of size, this new electric luxury SUV slots in between the conventional Q5 and Q7 in Audi’s line-up, although it rides lower to the ground than both.

In a first for production cars, buyers can opt to replace the conventional door mirrors with cameras that feed rear-view images on to small screens inside; the more compact cameras help to make the E-tron more aerodynamic. Meanwhile, other features designed to help it slip through the air include special 19in wheels and a smooth underside.

The E-tron is powered by two electric motors – one on each axle, making the car four-wheel drive. Those produce a combined 402bhp, allowing it to cover the 0-62mph sprint in less than six seconds and go on to a top speed of 124mph.

The latest WLTP tests give the E-tron a range of 249 miles on a single charge – similar to that of the Mercedes EQC but down on the Jaguar I-Pace’s 292-mile official range. Air suspension comes as standard, promising a comfortable ride. Plus, it allows the car to rise by up to 50mm for extra ground clearance when off-roading.

If you’re recharging the E-tron at home, expect a full charge to take about eight and a half hours, or that can be halved by using an optional high-capacity charger. When using the fastest chargers available (150kW), the E-tron can be charged up to 80% in about half an hour.

The E-tron is expected to cost about £71,000, with the Government’s £4500 electric car grant taking that down to £66,500. That means the E-tron will be slightly more expensive than both the I-Pace (£63,495) and EQC (an estimated £60,000).

Next: Mini Electric >

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