Jaguar’s future - luxury GT to spearhead new EV range

Jaguar’s future - luxury GT to spearhead new EV range

Jaguar to start rebirth with ‘jaw-dropping’ electric GT. New 600bhp halo car will usher in brand’s luxury era, followed by two crossovers.


Jaguar is chasing “more culturally driven, more artistic” buyers with GT

The first car in the reborn Jaguar line-up will be a four-door grand tourer and the most powerful model in the brand’s history. The new GT will be revealed in 2024 and on sale in 2025 as the first of three models in the new Jaguar family. Each will be underpinned by the all-new, EV-specific Jaguar Electrified Architecture (JEA).

Jaguar’s future - luxury GT to spearhead new EV range

Confirmed as part of an update to JLR’s Reimagine strategy (see overleaf), the new Jaguar will have a range of up to 430 miles and a starting price in excess of £100,000. It is likely to have two motors for four-wheel drive and 600bhp. Targeted charging times are for 200 miles of range in 15 minutes.

With the GT now officially previewed for the first time, prototypes will hit the road this year. Virtual testing is nearly complete ahead of this crucial next development phase. It will then be unveiled in 2024.

JLR’s chief creative officer, Gerry McGovern, said the styling of the GT and subsequent models would be “the copy of nothing”, invoking the mantra of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons.

He called it an “honour” to be asked to lead the rebirth of “a brand as loved and cherished” as Jaguar and vowed to return it to its past positioning as a “true British luxury brand”.

He referenced the E-Type (1961) and XJS (1975) as cars that provided inspiration for how the reborn Jaguar would operate in creating shocking yet beautiful – although not retro – designs.

McGovern explained that the brand’s current range was created under a different strategy that it would no longer be following.

He said: “The E-Type in its time looked like it had dropped from space. The XJS was equally compelling and a copy of nothing. It started again and didn’t copy the E-Type. The designs of current Jaguars aren’t bad; the strategy was more one of universal appeal and chasing more mainstream premium, which made the cars more normal. We want to go back [to the old way, though]. It’s a complete reimagining.”

McGovern said that the four pillars of future Jaguar design will be exuberance, fearlessness, uniqueness and progressiveness.

“Being exuberant is a real task, as there’s nothing else around like that,” he said. “Jaguars need to have a jaw-dropping moment, a sense of ‘wow’.”

The three new Jaguar EVs are the result of a competition that encompassed everyone in JLR’s creative team across all brands. They were split into three teams as part of Project Renaissance, which McGovern believes will go down as a pivotal moment in Jaguar’s history, with each given the same brief to create a family of models for the brand’s future.

A total of 18 cars were created as full-size models in just three months, but the winning team accounted for just three of them. McGovern revealed that the verdict was “unanimous”: “There was no debate. We said ‘that’s it’.”

DrivesToday understands that while the first new Jaguar will shock, the second and third will reinforce its design, creating a clear family look. Likely to be crossovers, they will arrive no faster than one per year after the GT.

Volumes will be around 50,000 for the range as a whole. The EVs will all be built at a new dedicated area at JLR’s Solihull factory. Nick Collins, JLR’s vehicle programmes director, said the JEA was also “the copy of nothing” and that no other EV platform would “allow for such exuberant designs, proportions, refinement and performance”.

Commercial chief Lennard Hoornik added that JLR’s investment in Jaguar stood at around £1 billion: “We’re investing in Jaguar not just for its heritage but for its future.”

Around 100 suppliers have already committed to the Jaguar rebirth project, which isn’t just about creating new cars but changing every part of the brand and how customers interact with it. This includes dealers.

Hoornik said Jaguars “won’t be available everywhere”, confirming recent reports that the brand was going to reduce its retail network.

New JLR CEO Adrian Mardell said: “Jaguar will not disappoint. It will begin to put right unfinished business.” When asked if it was a last chance for Jaguar, he said “there are no such things”.

“We create chances by what we deliver. I believe this brand will be here in 50 years,” he continued, adding that “this cat is going to purr”. McGovern doesn’t believe the new brand positioning for Jaguar will alienate existing customers, although he admitted there will always be those resistant to change.

He said: “It’s like when a new watch comes out, you still prefer the old one, but over time you see what it’s about and you change your mind.”

New EV trio is also believed to include a large crossover. E-Type and XJS demonstrate how Jag should innovate.

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