that JaguarLand Rover
is developing a vehicle that's not an SUV. Called the Road Rover, it would be an all-electricluxury car
with "some" all-terrain capability, hinting at all wheel drive. Initially, theEV
would launch in late 2019, then spawn more models to complete the lineup.
There is also talk about JLR's interest in anoutright purchase of an existing luxury car brand
to join its portfolio, and that parent companyTata
has already given this strategic move the green light. Tata has also reportedly made moves to protect its JLR ownership viaacquiring more of its own stock.
All this excitement brings to mind the fact that there once existed an actual Road Rover --the Rover brand
. Having evolved into MG Rover before going into administration in 2005 and subsequently reborn in China under SAIC Motor ownership, Rover was a moderately posh British carmaker just beneath the level of prestige thatJaguar
offered. For some years, both were part of the same corporation. The last Rover saloons were designed and built withBMW
input, and at that point Land Rover had already become part ofFord
, almost a decade after Jaguar did. Ford's tenure with Land Rover lasted from 2000 to 2008, when Tata bought the British brand — along with the Rover name.
Would it just make sense to badge the road car Rover, with noRoad
affixed to it? Rover's slovenly demise is more than a decade old now, but there's plenty of valuable history still embedded in the long-shelved Viking ship logo. Cast aside memories of Sterling-badgedHonda
Legend platform siblings and unattractively Federalized SD1 series cars, and take whatever good the 1999-2005 Rover 75 brought to the table — maybe it's time for Rover to be reborn in the current Jaguar Land Rover family.According to Autocar
, the first Road Rover would be developed in tandem with the next-generationJaguar XJ
, so they would share an aluminum architecture suitable for both internal combustion engines and battery electric technology, depending of the model. If anything, there is delicious irony to this: The 1980sXJ
generation that Jaguar spent decades developing was claimed to be engineered in such a way that the occasional stablemate Rover's Buick-derived 3,5-liter V8 wouldn't have fit in its engine bay — to preserve the Jaguar bloodline. To have the new XJ and a Rover cross paths again would only be fitting.Related Video: