The next-generation Range Rover will be followed by the redesigned Range Rover Sport on the same MLA platform. Both SUVs will be available as plug-in hybrids and at least one of Range Rover's four nameplates will have a full-electric option, according to the presentation for investors.
The 2021 rollout for both Range Rovers was confirmed by outgoing JLR CFO Ken Gregor on the company's earnings conference call in May.
JLR already offers plug-in models of the current Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which use the company's D7U platform, and is readying a plug-in hybrid version of the new Range Rover Evoque, which uses an updated version of the D7A platform.
Plug-in hybrid models on the MLA platform will use a 13.1 kWh battery to give an electric only range of about 31 miles (50 km), while mild-hybrid models will use JLR's Ingenium engines fitted with a belt integrated starter generator to give an electric boost at lower speeds, JLR said.
Flexible architectures such as MLA save money compared to building a separate platform for a pure-electric vehicle. But they can also compromise some product development goals. For example, the need to incorporate a combustion engine means engineers cannot extend the cabin too much further forward to give passengers more space, something that is easy to do on a platform designed just for EVs.
Jaguar's outgoing head of design, Ian Callum, expressed doubt that JLR would be able to put every future vehicle on one platform.
"We are moving to MLA yes, but that won't be the only platform," Callum told Automotive News Europe. "It would be mad not to evolve the I-Pace platform. It's not the least expensive platform in the world, but the first platform is inevitably going more expensive than the next one."
JLR is in the middle of a cost-saving drive after posting a record 3.6 billion-pound ($4.6 billion) loss for the financial year ending in March, after plummeting sales in China forced a large writedown in the third quarter.
JLR CEO Ralf Speth promised better results in 2020 on the earnings call in May, but warned of continuing losses for the quarter ending in June.