Hit the reset button, Jaguar Land Rover
I imagine there’s been plenty of hard swallowing going on at JLR HQ lately as some of the older-guard product planners work their way through the repercussions of switching its big-selling medium-sized models to a new, all-electric architecture. There can’t really be any doubt that it’s the right thing to do and the pressure that full electrification will inevitably bring may even be a good thing if it accelerates the development of the company’s mid-sized models.
Ever since Land Rover started finding out how little cars like the Discovery Sport and Evoque actually use the off-road capability that’s engineered into them – at the cost of so many other things – questions must have lingered about how much Land Rover-typical ruggedness these cars really need.
The EMA platform is an opportunity to reset these cars starting from a proper clean sheet, which should ensure that these next models are only as heavy and complex as they really need to be.
I don’t doubt that JLR’s designers will find new, weight-efficient ways to put the 4x4 capability back in. But there should be ways that don’t make these cars second-rate on energy efficiency and real-world electric range. JLR can’t afford for its bread-and-butter volume sellers to be off the pace.