WHAT IT IS: Land Rover’s first production EV.
WHY IT MATTERS: All forthcoming Land Rovers—the smaller Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque, and the larger Defender, Discovery, and Range Rover models—will be built on one of two convergence architectures that allow for both hybrid and battery electric versions of the same vehicle. Six all-electric Land Rovers are due for launch in the next five years, and JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré says 60 percent of Land Rover’s lineup will be battery powered by 2030.
PLATFORM AND POWERTRAIN: Land Rover’s two new platform architectures are called MLA (Modular Longitudinal Architecture) and EMA (Electric Modular Architecture). MLA is designed for the bigger Land Rovers—the Defender, Discovery, and Range Rover families—and EMA will underpin the next-generation Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque models. Land Rover will build MLA-based models in its famed Solihull plant, and it will build EMA models in the company’s Halewood factory, where it produces today’s Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque.
The convergence platform strategy offers manufacturing flexibility but results in a heavier and more compromised architecture because of the need to accommodate two completely different powertrains. However, as Bolloré insists, Land Rovers must remain the most capable SUVs in their segment. That includes having internal combustion engine models able to operate in remote areas; the convergence platform is probably the best solution in the intermediate term. Bolloré says Land Rover “will achieve zero tailpipe emissions by 2036,” by which time we can assume all models will be built on a dedicated BEV platform.
Land Rover’s first EV was going to be a sporty, low-slung model, internally dubbed the Road Rover. But with Jaguar moving to become a pure electric brand by 2025, that idea has been axed. Instead, expect a battery-powered version of the fifth-gen flagship Range Rover, the final design of which is expected to be an evolution of today’s model.
ESTIMATED PRICE: $120,000
EXPECTED ON-SALE DATE: 2024
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