A new high-end electric car, expected to be branded Road Rover, is reportedly being developed by Jaguar Land Rover and will be ready before the end of the decade.
According to the UK’s Autocar, the new EV is being designed with China and California in mind. The former is highly incentivised the take-up of electric vehicles, while the latter has mandated a certain percentage of all car sales to be electric by 2025.
Despite only being two years away from launch, details about the Road Rover are scarce – with only this Autocar report to go on – although the car is thought to share a platform with the next-generation Jaguar XJ.
Both the XJ and so-called Road Rover, the website claims, will feature a pure electric drivetrain with two motors and on-demand all-wheel drive.
Unlike the XJ, the Road Rover is expected to have a taller wagon or crossover-style body, and a degree of off-road ability – although, as it says on the tin, the Road Rover’s focus will clearly be the road.
The common aluminium platform being developed for the XJ and Road Rover is said to support internal combustion engines, as well as the battery storage needs of an EV.
Said to be a rival for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in terms of luxury and cabin appointments, the new Road Rover will reportedly bridge the gap between the road-going Jaguar range and Land Rover’s selection of off-roaders.
The magazine understands Jaguar Land Rover bosses decided to go with the new Road Rover brand because it was worried the Range Rover brand wouldn’t stretch to encompass electric vehicles.
Additionally, the powers that be weren’t ready to compromise the off-road capability of its Range Rover marque, while the bluff front-end of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport aren’t well suited to the aerodynamic needs of an electric vehicle.
Like the recently launched Velar, the Road Rover name is borrowed from a prototype vehicle from the company’s past.
That original model was developed in the 1950s, and was envisioned as a link between Rover’s sedan models and the Land Rover, although it never made it into production.