Jaguar is reinventing its flagship vehicle as a Tesla Model S-fighting electric car…but we may have to wait a bit longer.
Jaguar has plenty of iconic names and models in its past, but when it comes to sedans, there’s only one that matters: the XJ. Jaguar ended that model’s production run after 51 years in 2019, but not for long: the company has plans to revive the XJ nameplate this year with a road-oriented, Tesla Model S-fighting electric vehicle that may not be explicitly labeled a sedan. Given Jaguar’s impressive success with the I-Pace SUV, the electric XJ ranks among the cars we’re most excited to see in 2020.
Or rather, it did. Unfortunately, the XJ launch has reportedly been delayed. Jaguar Land Rover, like many automakers, is paring down expenses during the coronavirus pandemic; that means focusing resources on pumping out the brand’s most profitable vehicles and pushing other items, like the electric XJ, back a bit. According to Autocar, JLR has now scheduled the new XJ launch for October 2020, with market availability in late 2021 instead of early that year.
It’s always disappointing to wait for an exciting new car, but for JLR, prioritizing things like getting Defenders delivered right now makes more sense than trying to push through a groundbreaking, risky EV. While electric vehicles will be vital for carmakers moving forward, traditional gas-powered SUVs are the vehicles that cover their costs in the present, even for Tesla (albeit indirectly).