Jaguar Land Rover is the next global carmaker to 'flick the switch', announcing that all new model from 2020 will feature at least some form of electric power.
To mark the occasion, the company has sampled a span of its models stretching from 49 years ago to a vision of what it expects 23 years into the future.
Jaguar has produced two concepts: the Jaguar E-Type Zero and the Future-Type, which is the brand’s first autonomous car.
JLR chief executive officer Dr Ralf Speth made the announcement at a technical forum for the two brands in the UK.
While Jaguar’s foundations are built around sports cars and luxurious sedans, it will add its first electric vehicle in 2018, the I-Pace SUV, and Speth outlined a plan for EVs and hybrids to expand across the range.
“Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice,” Speth said.
“We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, goes on sale next year.”
The E-Type Zero is a restored 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster that has had its petrol engine replaced with an electric motor (pictured, below) by Jaguar’s Classic Works division. The company claims the electrifed drop-top can race from 0-100km/h in just 5.5 seconds.
But the more striking concept is the Future-Type, which is a virtual vision of what Jaguar could look like in 2040. Not only is it autonomous, featuring the ‘Sayer’ steering wheel revealed earlier in the week, it has a 2+1 seating layout that allows the ‘driver’ and passenger to face each other.
“Future-Type offers an insight into the potential for driving and car ownership in the future,” Jaguar head of design, Ian Callum, said.
“It’s part of our vision for how a luxury car brand could continue to be desirable, in a more digital and autonomous age. Our Future-Type concept is an advanced research project looking at how we can ensure an on-demand Jaguar will appeal to customers in 2040 and beyond."
"Whether it’s commuting to work, autonomously collecting children from school or enjoying driving yourself on the weekend in the countryside, if there’s a choice of on-demand cars driving around city streets, we need to ensure customers desire our 24/7 service over our competitors.”
The Future-Type is presented as a possible car-sharing option for people who live in the city and may not want to invest in a car permanently.
And while it could be fully autonomous, being a Jaguar, the brand presents it as allowing the driver to take over if and when they choose.
While Future-Type is the distant future, Jaguar Land Rover has already begun testing autonomous technology in the real world. A Range Rover Sport has been equipped with the autonomous hardware and software and has begun testing in the UK and Europe.
Jaguar Land Rover is aiming to offer autonomous vehicles by the end of the decade.