Next-gen Evoque, Discovery Sport to lead Land Rover’s EV line-up

Next-gen Evoque, Discovery Sport to lead Land Rover’s EV line-up

18th May 2021 8:00 am

New Range Rover Evoque will be the first model based on JLR’s EMA electric vehicle platform.

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Land Rover has drawn up plans to revolutionise the next-generation Evoque and Discovery Sport, by building them on an all-new EV-focused Electrified Modular Architecture (EMA) platform with a petrol-fuelled range-extender unit.

  • New Evoque and Discovery Sport will get autonomous functionalities

  • EMA-based models will account for half of all sales by 2030, estimates JLR

  • All future Land Rover models will be based on two platforms – EMA and MLA 

New Evoque and Discovery Sport to be based on the EMA platform

Our sister publication Autocar UK understands that the first EMA-based new car will be the next-gen Evoque, which will be launched in 2024 and followed quickly by the third-generation Discovery Sport. It’s expected that the EMA production line will be installed at the company’s Halewood plant in the UK.

According to JLR documents, the new Evoque and Discovery Sport will be equipped with level two, level two-plus and level four autonomous functionality and will be capable of communicating with other cars and infrastructure, such as traffic control networks. In addition, so-called “off-board data management” will allow for “predictive maintenance and prognostics” on both cars.

Autocar UK also understands the EMA-based models will make a tangible move upmarket. According to details revealed to investors, JLR says its future models – starting with the MLA-based Range Rover next year – will be pitched firmly in the most profitable market sectors.

Specifically, this is likely to mean that the new Discovery Sport and Evoque will be given higher entry pricing, partly due to the extra development and construction costs of a substantially electrified platform. Expect showroom prices in late 2024 to kick off at close to £40,000 (around Rs 41.3 lakh) in the UK, and for both the SUV models to have an EV range of at least 96km. 

Jaguar Land Rover’s EMA platform

Jaguar Land Rover’s Electrified Modular Architecture (EMA) platform will be designed from the outset to accommodate advanced driver assistance systems and extensive cloud connectivity.

In effect, the EMA is a native EV platform that can house either a large floor-mounted battery pack or a smaller hybrid-sized battery but with the addition of a small range-extending internal combustion engine (ICE) “engineered with lean-burn technology”.

According to JLR’s internal briefing notes, the EMA is “engineered around the battery, the highest-value component”. The briefing also says the EMA is engineered to be simple and will accommodate batteries of differing chemistry. Its flat floor “will allow maximum interior space”, a characteristic that will facilitate the survival of the 7-seat Discovery Sport.

All-wheel drive will be delivered by new JLR-designed 800V-capable electric drive units that, the company says, will be the “most torque dense in class”. JLR engineers also say the new motors are “92 percent efficient”, offering as much as 6.5-7.25km of travel per kWh of electricity consumed.

The EMA project will be part of a £10 billion (around Rs 1,03,242.5 crore) investment programme running until 2026. The EMA is hugely important to JLR’s future prospects and its aim is to become consistently profit-making. Indeed, JLR estimates that EMA-based vehicles will account for half of all company sales by 2030 and potentially 3,25,000 high-profit models annually.

The EMA’s inherent simplicity should also address Jaguar Land Rover’s problems with quality, which, JLR boss Thierry Bolloré admitted recently, might be costing the company “1,00,000 sales per year”.

Jaguar Land Rover’s future

As part of the bold ‘Reimagine’ transformation plan, Land Rover will swap all of its models onto one of two platforms: the ‘EV-native’ EMA platform and the mixed-powertrain Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA).

The MLA platform will arrive first, underpinning the full-sized Range Rover flagship in 2022 before being rolled out to the Range Rover Sport, Velar 2 and Discovery 6 models. The flagship XJ EV from sibling brand Jaguar was due to share the MLA but was axed earlier this year from the brand’s future line-up. The predominantly aluminium platform can accommodate pure-electric, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains and will be used for cars built at Land Rover’s Solihull factory.

By 2030, JLR says it expects EMA-based vehicles to account for nearly 50 percent of all its sales (equivalent to 3,40,000 cars) and MLA-based vehicles around 40 percent. Jaguar EVs are pencilled in for a modest 12 percent.

In terms of the manufacturer’s evolving powertrain strategy, hydrogen propulsion remains on the future technology map. Officially, JLR says it’s “too early” to say what will happen with its existing fuel cell research programme, known as Project Zeus.

Jaguar Land Rover in India

Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover recently launched the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace SUV in India, priced from Rs 1.06 crore (ex-showroom, India). The facelifted XF sedan and F-Pace SUV are also expected to arrive this year. Meanwhile, Land Rover has begun accepting bookings for the Defender PHEV in India, the plug-in hybrid version of its Defender SUV launched last year. Land Rover will also launch the facelifted Discovery in India in the coming months. 

Image used for representation purposes only.

Also see:

New Range Rover SVAutobiography Ultimate revealed

Jaguar design boss Julian Thomson leaves carmaker after 21 years

2021 Jaguar I-Pace first look video

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