It's still hard to explain to outsiders just how disruptive Tesla Motors and its electric luxury cars have been to the established German prestige automakers.

From 2017 to 2020, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche will all launch one or more "Tesla-alikes" intended to match or surpass the capabilities of the California company's Model S sedan and Model X crossover utility vehicle.

But underdog British luxury maker Jaguar Land Rover is hardly sitting on its laurels.

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A variety of sources had previously reported that Jaguar would launch one or more all-electric vehicles. The first is thought to be an electric variant of its upcoming F-Pace crossover, which will be Jaguar's first-ever utility vehicle.

Jaguar design director Ian Callum has said in the past, "It's coming," when asked directly about an all-electric model from the car half of the Jaguar Land Rover company.

Now, the British magazine Autocar reports that JLR has taken the next step, trademarking the name "EV-Type" for future use.

1961 Jaguar E-Type

1961 Jaguar E-Type

That label, of course, alludes not only to the current F-Type sports car but also to the legendary E-Type roadster of 1961, which Enzo Ferrari once famously called "the most beautiful car in the world."

From a sexy, phallic roadster with a racing-proven straight-six engine to ... an all-electric crossover utility vehicle meant to compete with the Tesla Model X?

Welcome to the 21st century, Jaguar.

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The British luxury brand is better known for roadsters, coupes, and sporting sedans that drew on its racing heritage.

But crossovers are where the growth in luxury cars lies, especially in expanding markets like China, so Jaguar essentially had to enter the segment.

Its utility vehicles are expected to be "soft-roaders," as the British would say, that will retain sleek lines and spawn "SUV coupe" derivatives as well as high-performance R and SVR versions.

2015 Land Rover Range Rover Hybrid Long-Wheelbase

2015 Land Rover Range Rover Hybrid Long-Wheelbase

The heavy-duty off-road abilities will be left to the equally legendary Land Rover and Range Rover brands, which now provide 80 percent of the combined JLR's sales volume.

The electric F-Pace--or perhaps "EV-Type"--is expected to be built not on the SUV's main production line in Solihull, England, but instead under contract by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria.

That frees up capacity for the gasoline and diesel versions of the F-Pace that will subsidize the first generations of electric Jaguars until volume rises.

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Jaguar Land Rover is in the middle of a reinvention, with all-new products and technologies, following its 2007 sale to India's Tata Motors by previous owner Ford.

The electric car is just one small part of a broad portfolio of new models, engines, and technologies to carry it into the next decade and beyond.

Separately, the company has also applied for a series of patents on advances in inductive-charging technology, which lets an electric car recharge once it's positionied over a charging pad--freeing the owner from the onerous task of having to lift a cable from a station and plug it into the car.

Jaguar F-Pace pre-production prototype

Jaguar F-Pace pre-production prototype

The Tesla Model S is now in its fourth model year, and the Model X is expected to arrive by the end of this year.

But within two years, the pair of pioneering electric cars will start to face a raft of new competitors, while Tesla is largely occupied with developing and launching its first mass-market car, the $35,000 Model 3 range.

How Tesla responds to competing new luxury entries--if indeed it responds at all--promises to offer an interesting second chapter in the life of the Model S.


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