New 2021 electric Jaguar XJ slips out on winter test

Published: 15 January 2020

► Next XJ to be all-electric four-door
► Powered by i-Pace EV tech
► Spy photos, specs, scoopy details

Last year, Jaguar confirmed a new all-electric XJ was in the pipeline, and now we’ve snapped the EV saloon testing. Our spy photographers have caught the brand’s second EV cold-weather testing, but you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re looking at a cut-'n'-shut XF with an odd paintjob.

Take a look at the different and wider front end and higher door sills, though, and it’s clear this isn’t a XF at all, but a mule for Jag’s second electric car, undergoing cold-weather testing in the Arctic circle, as engineers make the battery-powered electric vehicle (EV) works correctly when the mercury plummets.

As CAR magazine revealed in 2018 – and since confirmed by Jaguar – the new all-electric XJ successor will be produced at the firm's Castle Bromwich plant in the UK Midlands, and will borrow heavily from the company's game-changing i-Pace crossover.

The new EV is expected to launch in 2021, with the team that developed the i-Pace taking the reins on design and engineering. While the technology will be cutting-edge, we understand that the design may be less progressive than that ground-breaking pioneer.

Expect the new XJ replacement to be offered purely with electric propulsion (even though the engine bay would accommodate a V6, according to our sources). This will position the newcomer squarely against the likes of the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S.

The new 2021 electric Jaguar XJ: what you need to know

The XJ successor will be a sleek luxury saloon configured as a five-door liftback, according to CAR magazine's sources. Rather than a lower, squashed i-Pace aesthetic, we understand the four-door will be more akin to an engorged XF and bears little resemblance to its predecessor.

This will become the first car built using Jaguar Land Rover’s new MLA platform (on the Jaguar side, at least), which will underpin the future Jaguar J-Pace big SUV and next-gen Range Rovers too. While the ‘e-XJ’ would naturally be a pure EV, Jaguar hasn't yet committed to adding combustion engines further down the line. It is technically feasible, according to well placed engineering sources. Expect a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive, depending on the spec, cost and target market.

Our artists have built up this impression below by Andrei Avarvarii of what the new all-electric Jaguar saloon could look like:

Powertrain details please

The all-wheel-drive XJ is driven by four electric motors in top-dog spec, fed by a floor-mounted battery pack (the i-Pace uses a 90kWh battery, the XJ may upgrade to 100kWh). Each motor could summon as much as 200bhp, meaning the e-XJ could plant a very big tick next to the pace component of Jag’s famed ‘grace, space and pace’ strapline. But ride quality, refinement and design drama would be prioritised every bit as much as speed.

Single motor versions will be offered too, bringing the price point down in markets where all-wheel drive is not considered essential.

The i-Pace has shown Jaguar’s willingness to be bold with its electric cars, and in that spirit the XJ will abandon its classic three-box saloon roots for a more progressive low-drag shape.

The e-XJ will inevitably use the higher price that a luxury EV could command to offset its considerable investment cost. A high-technology, low-volume car, it might not be highly profitable, but its value as a flagship statement car could be huge.

Further reading on electric cars

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