Jaguar Land Rover Engineering Chief: Hybrids To Dominate on "Upper-Class" Models
Driver Assistance, Infotainment Also Seeing Rapid Development
Many may most closely associate hybrids with frugal wedge-shaped hatchbacks. But at the Geneva motor show, Jaguar Land Rover engineering chief Wolfgang Ziebart told Britain's Autocar that hybrid drivetrains will dominate in the company's "upper class" models in the years ahead. The adoption of hybrid drivetrains is largely driven by global environmental regulations requiring lower CO2 emissions, and some urban areas that ban internal-combustion engines from certain zones or levy a hefty congestion charge on such vehicles.
In addition to hybrid powertrains, Ziebart said he sees major advancements happening in the areas of advanced driver assistance, such as car-to-car communications, and infotainment systems, in which integration with mobile devices and downloadable apps will enable new functionality. JLR recently debuted its own "In Control" mobile integration app compatible with Android and iOS devices.
In terms of the possibility the JLR would produce an all-electric car, Ziebart said the company is looking closely at the success of Tesla and its Model S and Model X, adding, "we can't neglect any segment" that shows growth, but a final decision has not been made on whether to build a full-EV model. Product development at JLR has quickened from one new model a year to one "new basic model" every six months for the foreseeable future.