It seems in vogue these days for a carmaker to announce that they’ll ‘electrify’ their entire line-up by the end of the decade or thereabouts, and Jaguar is the latest to make this claim, with the target year being 2020.
Although as with its rivals, the fine print also mentions ‘mild’ hybrids as being included in this definition, meaning that internal combustion engines are not actually going anywhere anytime soon.
Making the announcement at Jaguar Land Rover's inaugural ‘Tech-Fest’ event in London, CEO Dr Ralf Speth said that from the beginning of the next decade, every new model line introduced will offer an electrified option, with the company offering a range of fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles. The first full EV will be next year's I-Pace.
To celebrate the announcement, JLR looked to the past and the future, with a fully electric 1968 E-Type built by Jaguar Classic and a brand new concept car called the Future-Type, which looks to 2040 and beyond.
The Future-Type concept is a melting pot of future motoring ideas: it’s fully autonomous, it embraces the car-sharing ideal and it comes with Jaguar’s artificial intelligence steering wheel called Sayer, named after the E-Type’s designer.
The Sayer steering wheel sticks with one owner, regardless of whether he or she fully owns a Jaguar 'Future-Type' or buys into a sharing scheme.
When not on the road, Sayer is meant to live in the owner’s home, where it acts as a personal assistant of sorts that even knows how much milk you have in the fridge. With advanced speech recognition it can order your pizza, connect you to the news, organise your evening activities and, if you’ve signed up for the on-demand car-sharing system, it’ll also summon an autonomous Future-Type Jaguar to your door.
Jaguar's car sharing club will even send the type of car that you need - a Future-Type variant with 2+1 social seating, for instance, if you’re taking a child to school and want some interaction along the way.
That’s assuming that people of the future are still going to interact face to face. Of course, Future-Type occupants can still tap into the digital matrix, using the car’s human-machine-interface to summon their home, family, social or work ‘orbits’ while on the move.
And yet the Future-Type doesn’t remove the old world charms of motoring completely - you can still take the wheel and drive yourself if desired, and Sayer will even recommend this when it comes across a route it thinks you might enjoy.
We’ll take that option.