A quarter of a century ago, BMW bought Rover Group, which included the Land Rover brand. The Germans didn’t hold on to the British off-road vehicle specialist for too long, though, and sold Land Rover to Ford in 2000.
Fast forward to the present, and BMW and Land Rover will once again cooperate, albeit not as part of the same entity.
The BMW Group and the Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover group have just announced they will collaborate on “next-generation electric drive units in a move that supports the advancement of electrification technologies necessary to transition to an ACES future” — where ACES stands for Autonomous, Connected, Electric, and Shared.
The future electric drive units that will be co-developed by the two automakers will be based on BMW Group’s most sophisticated electrified technology to date. The fifth-generation (Gen 5) eDrive technology features an electric motor, transmission and power electronics in one housing. According to the Bavarians, this electric motor does not require rare earths, enabling the company to reduce its dependence on their availability as it continues its electrification offensive.
Starting from 2020, the BMW Group will introduce the Gen 5 eDrive on the upcoming BMW iX3 all-electric SUV (pictured). Subsequently, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover will create further evolutions based on the Gen 5 electric drive unit.
By sharing development and production planning costs, as well as achieving economies of scale from joint purchasing, the BMW Group and JLR will be able to save a lot of money. The Gen 5-based power units will be developed by a joint team of BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover experts located in Munich. Production of the electric drivetrains will be undertaken by each partner in their own manufacturing facilities.
“With Jaguar Land Rover, we found a partner whose requirements for the future generation of electric drive units significantly match ours. Together, we have the opportunity to cater more effectively for customer needs by shortening development time and bringing vehicles and state-of-the-art technologies more rapidly to market,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.