The next-generation, all-electric 2021 Jaguar XJ has had its plug pulled just months before it was expected to be unveiled in full, the British brand has confirmed.
As part of the announcement of its new Reimagine business plan overnight – which will see the marque go electric-only by 2025 – Jaguar confirmed the upcoming, zero-emissions XJ replacement "will not form part of the line-up", as the model "does not fit with [its] vision of a reimagined Jaguar brand".
That's despite the new XJ being just months away from its global unveiling – initially scheduled for October or November 2020, but later reportedly delayed to the third quarter of 2021 – with prototypes spied testing as far back as January 2020.
The British brand has yet to provide specific reasoning behind the decision, however it's expected the flagship sedan's architecture and production logistics are to blame.
The XJ was previously confirmed to become the first Jaguar Land Rover model to employ the group's Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA), which would go on to underpin other Jaguar and Land Rover models in the coming years, with production pencilled in at JLR's Castle Bromwich factory, which has been home to XJ production since the start of the millennium.
Above: 2021 Jaguar XJ teaser released in late 2019.
However, the Reimagine plan will see all Jaguar models from 2025 onwards underpinned by an all-new, electric-only platform exclusive to Jaguar, leaving the MLA architecture to be employed exclusively by the Land Rover and Range Rover brands for both combustion-engined and zero-emissions vehicles.
With no other Jaguar vehicles on the MLA platform – and nor any low-riding sedans or wagons, given all Land Rover and Range Rover models are off-road-capable SUVs – and the niche, declining market for flagship luxury sedans like the XJ, a business case for the new model begins to no longer stack up.
Throw in the brand's plan to build models on Jaguar's new electric platform primarily at its Solihull facility, and its intentions to retool the Castle Bromwich site for other purposes aside from car production, and the new Jaguar XJ's future becomes a hard one to imagine.
The simultaneous announcement of the electric XJ's cancellation and Jaguar's switch to electric power only from 2025 leaves the British brand in an unusual spot, given its only electric vehicle currently on sale is the I-Pace mid-size SUV, which accounted for just 6.6 per cent of Jaguar sales in 2020.
Above: 2021 Jaguar XJ test mule spied in early 2020.
That indicates an entire range of zero-emissions vehicles could be waiting in the wings, based on the new pure-electric platform – though which body styles they will adopt, and which market segments they will slot into, remains unclear.
A BMW X5-sized J-Pace large SUV was previously rumoured to be in development, however that model's rumoured MLA underpinnings indicates it has seen the axe.
It's also worth noting existing petrol- and diesel-powered Jaguar models won't be culled early, with the brand confirming they will reach the end of their lifecycles as planned – though these will all occur by the aforementioned 2025 date.
While the XJ sedan might not receive a direct replacement, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore didn't rule out a resurrection of the XJ nameplate further down the road.
For more details on Jaguar Land Rover's Reimagine business plan, click here to read our full story.