Land Rover is the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles, owned by British multinational car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover. And owner Jaguar Land Rover is running over barriers like a big SUV barreling through a woods.
The UK-based, Indian-owned, iconic luxury car maker is achieving new levels of global growth. Without losing its essential British-ness, Jaguar Land Rover is taking the rest of the world by storm while restoring pride in the UK’s automotive capabilities. For the first time, Jaguar Land Rover sold more than a half-million vehicle in its last financial year.
In the US, for instance, the brand has narrowed the gap with Porsche in the luxury sales derby behind a fully overhauled product line capitalized by Tata Motors which bought Jaguar Land Rover from Ford in 2008. Sales in August for both brands increased by 1 percent over a year earlier, and year-to-date totals were up by 13 percent.
“We are pleased” with that performance “in the face of a challenging marketplace,” Joe Eberhardt, president and CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America, said in a press release.
JLR’s Jaguar is projecting increased demand for its ever-widening model lineup. There’s the award-winning Jaguar F-PACE, the top-selling US vehicle. Jaguar also unveiled its five-seat compact SUV, the E-PACE, in August. And last year it launched another vehicle: the Jaguar XE compact luxury sedan.
For its Land Rover brand, the unceasing rise in interest in luxury SUVs has played right into the brand’s strategy. Its US sales in August broke records for the brand that month, with the Range Rover flagship leading the way. The new Range Rover Velar has added incremental sales.
Land Rover also has been buffing its off-road chops in its marketing lately, including an off-road competition to give consumers a chance to drive the new Land Rover Discovery in an extreme expedition through Peru. Fans at Land Rover Experience Centers in the US competed to take the trip to Peru.
In an increased commitment to sustainability (witness JLR’s recycled “Waste to Wave” surfboard—part of a bigger extension into other products), Jaguar Land Rover finally decided in 2014 to chase Tesla—and, as it turns out, German premium brand rivals—with its own electric vehicle program.
As highlighted at JLR’s 2017 Tech Fest in London and at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, all Jaguar Land Rover cars will get an electrified variant starting in 2020. (The automaker is also increasing its use of recycled aluminum in its car bodies.)
As JLR CEO Dr. Ralf Speth stated:
The technology we are developing on the track allows us to deliver thrilling electric vehicles to our customers. The pace of change is exhilarating and we want to go above and beyond for our customers. From 2020 every new Jaguar Land Rover vehicle will be electrified. Customers will be able to choose from battery electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid power as well as ultra-clean petrol and diesel engines. Future mobility will not be boring. Our products will have passion and emotion as well as being distinctive, desirable and capable as they have always been and will stand out from the crowd.
The new Land Rover Discovery SVX – “the most adventurous member of the Discovery family” – made its global debut at the Frankfurt show.
As noted in a press release, “Land Rover’s most extreme and capable production vehicle has increased ground clearance, a specially tuned terrain response system for hardcore off-road capability and is powered by a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine. The SVX will be hand-assembled by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division and will be available for customers in 2018.”
It was one of six Jaguar Land Rover vehicles making their show debuts at Frankfurt along with the new Jaguar ‘cub’, the E-PACE compact performance SUV, sibling of the Jaguar F-PACE; the Jaguar XE Project 8, the most powerful Jaguar ever built with 600bhp for supercar performance; the Jaguar XJR575, the fastest-ever version of the flagship XJ saloon; the I-PACE electric racecar and Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
In addition to the reveal of SVX, a range of product updates were announced for Discovery. Land Rover’s premium SUV is now available with Jaguar Land Rover’s efficient 300PS four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine. The advanced powerplant uses Continuously Variable Valve Lift (CVVL) technology to optimise efficiency and a twin-scroll turbocharger with ceramic bearings for smooth responses and reduced friction. The new engine produces 400Nm of torque and CO2 emissions from 219g/km.
In addition, Discovery gains new technologies including a 12.3-inch Interactive Driver Display TFT instrument cluster. The state-of-the-art high-resolution panel provides contemporary graphics that create the impression of 3D surfaces with exceptional clarity and allow the driver to personalise the visual display around the two main dials.
All versions of the latest Discovery also feature Touch Pro infotainment with Jaguar Land Rover’s state-of-the-art 10-inch touchscreen interface on the centre console. Digital connectivity is enhanced with the introduction of 4G Wi-Fi, providing superior connection speeds for up to eight mobile devices on the move.
Jaguar had previewed the first fruits of its all-electric development efforts, the I-PACE, at the Shanghai auto show. It’s scheduled to debut next year, in plenty of time to join the still-developing race for widespread adoption of electric vehicles in the premium market.
Jaguar Land Rover is also making sure that its Range Rover brand is ready for electrification. The marque’s flagship offering will release a plug-in hybrid model in March, accompanied by a PHEV version of the Range Rover Sport. JLR chief Ralf Speth announced the range expansion at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show.
As noted by The Drive, “Unlike the current Range Rover Hybrid, which uses a diesel engine, the new Range Rover will be powered by an electric powertrain paired to the brand’s Ingenium 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. This, Land Rover says, will be enough to propel the plug-in model to 30 miles of electric-only power, not to mention significant gains in fuel economy.”