A new scalable architecture is crucial to the company's survival.
If you want to be cost efficient as an automaker, it makes sense to create an architecture that can be spread across many models. Take Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture, which underpins the S60, V60, XC60, S90, V90, XC90, and upcoming Polestar 1. Then there's Volkswagen's MQB, underpinning models ranging from the Audi TT up to the Volkswagen Atlas. We know that Jaguar Land Rover is spending billions of dollars to invest in new models and Automotive News indicates that a new modular platform could be on the way.
JLR is set to introduce three new models over the next five years and will switch most of its current models to a new Modular Longitudinal Platform (MLA). As of now, JLR uses six platforms in total. The D7U platform is used by the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery; the D7A platform is used by the Jaguar XF, XE, F-Pace and the Range Rover Velar; and the D8 platform is used by the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport, and Jaguar E-Pace. The Jaguar XJ, F-Type, and I-Pace each have their own unique platforms.
The shift to the MLA platform will reportedly begin in 2020, which means it may align with the highly anticipated replacement for the Defender. The MLA platform is very flexible because it can be used for mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles. Before the switch, the D8 platform will be used for small models until the 2024 model year. JLR will update it to be called the Premium Transverse Architecture (PTA), adding the capability for plug-in hybrid and 48-volt mild hybrid models like the upcoming Range Rover Evoque. All of these changes will help JLR lower its production costs and simplify its entire lineup for the future.