Electric Jaguar XJ Canceled at the Last Minute

Amid plans to go EV-only by 2025, Jaguar has shelved the 2022 XJ electric flagship at the 11th hour while rolling out an EV-intensive plan for the next decade dubbed Reimagine. The electric sedan had been development for the past several years and had already been spotted undergoing testing on numerous occasions in camouflage, months before it was due to be revealed in production form. The electric flagship actually got about 9/10ths of the way to production before plans for its production were halted, and several months after Thierry Bolloré became CEO of Jaguar Land Rover.

“By the middle of the decade, Jaguar will have undergone a renaissance to emerge as a pure electric luxury brand with a dramatically beautiful new portfolio of emotionally engaging designs and pioneering next-generation technologies,” the automaker said. “Jaguar will exist to make life extraordinary by creating dramatically beautiful automotive experiences that leave its customers feeling unique and rewarded. Although the nameplate may be retained, the planned Jaguar XJ replacement will not form part of the line-up, as the brand looks to realize its unique potential.”

Shelving the electric XJ had little to do with looming competition from others, namely Mercedes-Benz, which is getting ready to launch its own electric version of the S-Class to battle the Tesla Model S. Instead, the XJ is believed to have been cancelled due to some complex production capacity decisions that involve Jaguar’s longer-term EV plans and factory availability.

Jaguar had planned to produce the electric XJ at its Castle Bromwich plant in the U.K., but at some point the automaker made the decision to convert that plant to other uses, including the home of SVO. The problem is that the XJ was developed on a Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform, while all other production Jaguar sites in the U.K. will build vehicles on JLR’s Electric Modular Architecture (EMA) platform that will be shared with some Land Rover models. Meanwhile, MLA-platform Land Rovers will be built at Solihull, but the XJ will not make the move there, due to that factory’s own capacity issues. In essence, a decision was made that all future Jaguar models will be made on the EMA platform, which limits manufacturing location options.

“Land Rover will use the forthcoming flex Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA),” the automaker added. “It will deliver electrified internal combustion engines (ICE) and full electric variants as the company evolves its product line-up in the future. In addition, Land Rover will also use pure electric biased Electric Modular Architecture (EMA) which will also support advanced electrified ICE.”

As for the gas-engined XJ, production ended back in 2019, so the nameplate will stay on hiatus for a while until Jaguar makes (or does not make) plans to bring it back as an electric flagship. Just when that could happen in the future is an open question for now, but the reality is that Jaguar is now a smaller company that has to pick its battles when it comes to segment entries.

Factory constraints aside, launching an electric XJ next year would have pitted it against not only the Tesla Model S, Audi e-tron GT, and its Porsche Taycan sibling, but also the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz EQS—and frankly, the luxury EV sedan pie is not all that big, especially as large sedan sales continue to shrink amid the crossover craze.

Should Jaguar have gone through with plans to produce an electric XJ sedan? Let us know in the comments below.

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