Billions were spent on development, so what happened?
When Thierry Bollore took the reins at Jaguar Land Rover last September, he made a bold and, at the time, controversial decision: the death of the next generation Jaguar XJ that was to be reborn as an all-electric flagship sedan. Testing was in the advanced stages for this hopeful Mercedes EQS rival but Bollore had a different outlook. Speaking to Autocar, the French-born CEO who came to JLR from Renault, explained his thinking on the matter.
"It was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made, especially since it was in my first month, but XJ was a completely different kind of car from the ones we were proposing - different in technology, battery chemistry, electronics, size, performance and market position. It would never have suited our plans."
Bollore concluded that the new XJ was already outdated in some critical areas and therefore made no business sense to launch it. Starting from scratch would be the smarter long-term solution. Does anyone honestly believe the XJ EV could have, at the very least, offered the levels of tech and overall refinement as the EQS or even the Model S Plaid?
We have our doubts, especially since Jaguar couldn't compete with its German rivals on the gasoline engine sedan front. Bollore instead revealed a radical plan he calls Reimagine that will see Jaguar turning into an all-electric and ultra-luxurious brand by 2025.
Its SUV lineup will be eliminated. Land Rover will handle all future SUVs instead, which makes sense. As for the future of Jag's only existing EV, the I-Pace, Bollore confirmed it'll continue to receive regular updates and "will still be around in 2025, though it won't be part of the new model portfolio."
As far as the XJ nameplate's future goes, we wouldn't be surprised to see it return eventually on a vehicle with an all-new platform and more advanced technologies, specifically in regards to the battery pack. Equally important, Bollore and crew now have additional time to study the competition and set new benchmarks.