The New Land Rover Defender’s Bones Will Be Used for a Jaguar SUV

Jaguar has confirmed plans for a new J-Pace SUV that will use the same underpinniun the new Land Rover Defender this fall.

Land Rover Defender Land Rover Day Gear Patrol Slide 09
Copyright 2019

Jaguar is producing a new SUV, the J-Pace. It will be a range-topping and probably seven-seater midsize SUV, slotting above the compact F-Pace. It should battle for market share with the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, and maybe the base Porsche Cayenne, depending on the eventual price point. Jaguar revealed a prototype to World Car of the Year jurors at a private viewing. There’s no word yet on a launch date.

What Jaguar has confirmed is that the J-Pace will use the new Land Rover MLA (modular longitudinal architecture) platform. This platform is set to debut with the new Defender this fall, though one suspects the J-Pace will be more road-oriented. Using this platform for the J-Pace gives Jaguar flexibility moving forward. The MLA can accommodate internal combustion, hybrid and fully electric powertrains depending on future needs.

Jaguar producing a larger upmarket SUV makes sense. It’s a hot segment amidst slowing across the board sales, maybe the only non-pickup one. The vehicles are profitable, which Jaguar needs. Producing larger luxury SUVs has become imperative, not just for not just luxury manufacturers like BMW and Porsche but traditionally mass-market ones like Volkswagen and Subaru.

The J-Pace will be awaited eagerly. Under now-ex lead designer Ian Callum, Jaguar has done the best job among luxury manufacturers with the crossover conversion. They have produced not just Jaguar crossovers but fleshed out visions that capture and advance Jaguar’s attractive and sporty ethos. Both the Jaguar F-Pace (2017) and the I-Pace (2019) won World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year awards, so the bar for the J-Pace will be high.

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