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The next-generation Jaguar XJ will be a high-end electric vehicle that will serve as a technology flagship for the British automaker.
According to Autocar, Jaguar has decided to develop the all-new version of the XJ despite downward trending sales figures for big sedans. It plans to keep the XJ nameplate relevant by completely reinventing it, positioning the car as a fully electric alternative to vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This would essentially make it a more well-equipped rival to the Tesla Model S – the only true premium electric sedan on sale today.
In addition to adopting an EV powertrain, the XJ will also morph into a five-door sedan, likely adopting a fastback shape similar to that of the Model S. The vehicle will also usher in a new design language for the brand, and Autocar reports JLR lead designer Ian Callum has already finalized the new sedan’s styling.
The new XJ’s EV powertrain will be previewed by the fully electric I-Pace crossover, which will launch this spring. The I-Pace is expected to have a 90 kWh battery pack, which will be good for about 220 miles of driving range. The I-Pace concept featured four electric motors producing 200 horsepower apiece, bringing total output to around 800 horsepower. It seems likely the mass market I-Pace won’t be this powerful, however a performance version could arrive with a similarly robust powertrain. From launch, the XJ will have a dual-motor setup with AWD, Autocar reports.
The next-gen Jaguar XJ will debut later this year before going on sale sometime in 2019.
The Fomm Concept One, a water-cruising electric vehicle inspired by 2011’s Japan tsunamis, is now on its way toward production.
An acronym for “First One Mile Mobility,” the concept was first introduced in Feb. 2014 as the world’s “smallest class 4-seater electric vehicle,” specially designed to handle close-range travel, emphasizing fewer cross-country trips and more short drops from one’s home to the bus stop or train station.
Powered by two in-wheel electric motors for a modest 6.7 horsepower and 207-pounds-feet of torque per wheel.
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This results in a top speed of 49 mph and a range of up to 99 miles on a single charge. Its true utility is in its water propulsion design, where the intention is to use its floating mechanism in flood emergencies. The bulk of Fomms research has focused on its water propulsion technology, with work alongside University of Tokyo researchers to define its wheel and steering wheel.
Behind the project is Hideo Tsurumaki, a former lead Toyota engineer and professional racer, who witnessed the Japanese tsunami’s devastation first hand as it swept escapees in vehicles before sinking into the water. After drawing inspiration for a compact, watertight and floating vehicle designed to withstand strong currents, Tsurumaki developed the prototype.
Now, its fourth iteration is on track for a Dec. 2018 production date, with sales expected shortly after that. Assisting its production efforts is Trinex Assets Co. a Thailand-based real estate company, along with Tamanda Denki Co. and Funai Electronics Co. as investors.
Some analysts have speculated about the viability of its business model, with its water propulsion and sealing capabilities contributing to an additional cost which leaps above the relatively high cost of electric cars. As a result, Tsurumaki continues to focus on long-term stability at lower costs. No word if this would ultimately endanger its water future as a result.
As part of Ford’s overall strategy, many of its vehicles will have plug-in hybrid variants in the next few years, including the F-150.
During a press event at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, Ford teased the upcoming F-150 variant that provided a few details on the first hybrid pickup truck from the Dearborn manufacturer.
Ford’s Jim Farley announced during the media event that the company would be increasing their investment in electric vehicles to $11 billion.
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In the video above (start at the 32 minute mark), Farley stated that the hybrid F-150 would not only be able to get you to the job site, but that it’d be able to power the job site. He then showed a video where some folks were watching a football game during a blackout while they were plugged into the back of the truck.
The current F-150 is available with a 400-watt power inverter built-in, which is enough to power a television like in the video shown. That same power inverter can charge tools at most job sites. Vehicles like the Leaf are capable of “Vehicle to Home” to supply electricity, though Ford didn’t state that that’d be a feature of the hybrid F-150.
Finally, Ford announced that the truck would be available in 2020. Pricing and performance details are not currently available, but the truck will be built alongside the current F-150 at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Detroit.