Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest: New concept and an E-Type EV
Ahead of the Frankfurt Auto Show, Jaguar held its own mini auto show in London to unveil a new autonomous concept car, and announced that all new models offered by Jaguar Land Rover will be electrified after 2020 and even showed off a classic E-Type EV.
The swoopy concept, called the Jaguar Future-Type, is a fully electric and autonomous car that can be summoned by customers as part of the British marque’s vision of the future it calls ACES (autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility).
At the heart of the concept is a removable intelligent steering wheel, think of Amazon’s Alexa, which you take anywhere. Jaguar calls the wheel Sayer, not just for the way you interact with the device, but also in honor of the legendary E-Type designer, Sir Malcom Sayer. The wheel itself serves as a personal assistant, scheduling meetings, setting wake-up times and being able to arrange everything from booking a table to managing your grocery list. The fact that it’s a steering wheel also underscores the fact that while the Future-Type has autonomous capability, it can also be driven.
“Future-Type offers an insight into the potential for driving and car ownership in the future,” said Ian Callum, director of design for Jaguar. “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 to and 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.”
Jaguar’s electrification push
In addition to showing off the concept, Jaguar also announced its plan that every new vehicle introduced in the 2020 model year and beyond will be either pure electric or hybrid. The first in this lineup will be the I-Pace, a pure electric crossover SUV. That push will be expanded over the Land Rover range as well.
“Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020, giving our customers even more choice,” said Dr. Ralph Spieth, the group’s CEO. “We will introduce a portfolio of electric products across our model range, embracing full electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-Pace goes on sale next year.”
These electric ambitions not only extend into the future, but also Jaguar’s storied history as the company also displayed the E-Type Zero, an all-electric based on a 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster. It was restored and converted to electric power at Jaguar Land Rover Classic’s new shop in Warwickshire, England. Employing an electric powertrain generating 220kW, the car can accelerate to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds, faster than the original model.
The electronic controls and the 40 kWh lithium ion battery pack are packaged in the same footprint as the vehicle’s original 3.8-liter 6-cylinder gas engine. The electric motor lies just behind the battery pack in the space formerly occupied by the transmission. The E-Type Zero is actually 100-pounds lighter than the 1968 model and Jaguar says the car drives, handles, rides and brakes like the original and thanks to the layout, the front-rear weight distribution is unchanged. Real world range of the car is 170 miles between charges and takes about six to seven hours to replenish depending on charger. There are no plans to bring the car back as a regular production model EV.