Jaguar confirms that the I-Pace team is building an electric XJ

It's also calling for assistance on creating a UK rival to Tesla's gigafactory.

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While announcing plans to build a "range" of electrified vehicles at its Castle Bromwich, UK plant, Jaguar confirmed that the first new EV to roll off the line there will be an all-electric version of its flaship sedan, the XJ. Development of the new car is being handled by the same team that built Jaguar's all-electric I-Pace SUV that we called "exceptional."

The reveal didn't dismiss rumors that it will eventually also release a combustion-engine powered version of the new XJ. The plant is being retooled to handle Jaguar Land Rover's Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) platform that's intended to support diesel, gasoline, electric and hybrid models.

The idea, apparently, is to give customers choice on the powerplant, while still fulfilling a promise to provide electrified options on all new Jaguar and Land Rover models introduced from 2020 on. Also, Jaguar is asking for the UK government and other manufacturers to "bring giga-scale battery production to the country." According to CEO Dr. Ralf Speth, "Affordability will only be achieved if we make batteries here in the UK, close to vehicle production, to avoid the cost and safety risk of importing from abroad."

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