With Jaguar-Land Rover slowly moving towards electrification with the I-Pace, the British automaker has also announced that all new models beginning 2020 will have some form of electrification. To showcase JLR's commitment to this change and their vision for 2040, Jaguar has introduced two new concepts that will be part of the inaugural JLR Tech Fest.
“We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles," he said. "Our first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-Pace, goes on sale next year,” said Dr Ralf Speth, JLR CEO.
Though it appears like a classic Jaguar E-Type, it is in fact an electric vehicle called the E-Type Zero. The concept vehicle is a JLR restored 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster and is in factory original condition apart from the battery and electric motor. Jaguar says that the E-Type Zero has a range of 270km, does 0-100km/h in 5.5 seconds, and is 80kg lighter than a gasoline powered E-Type.
To most enthusiasts this would be controversial. However, Jaguar claims that this is a positive move as it allows classic vehicles to still be used in the future despite tougher environmental laws. Furthermore, the change from gasoline powered to electric is said to be fully reversible.
Given sufficient demand, Jaguar will likely offer the electric conversion to owners of this classic. It is expected the that price of the conversion will not be cheap.
As for the other concept, the Jaguar Future-Type, it showcases what the vehicles of 2040 could be. The fully-autonomous Future-Type is a narrow three-seat city car with a sleek design that features a removable smart steering wheel called 'Sayer' at the heart of it all.
'Sayer' is JLR's concept smart steering wheel, which is the first voice-activated Artificial Intelligence steering wheel capable of carrying out hundreds of tasks. In fact, Jaguar hints that future owners could only buy 'Sayer' rather than the car, and have access to multiple Future-Types that could be called up when needed.
Despite being a fully-autonmous vehicle, Jaguar says the Future-Type is not a fully-self driving machine. Jaguar intends to keep the connection and enjoyment that one gets when driving despite being in a future where cars will become fully autonomous.