Jaguar Land Rover's SVO plans high-performance EVs
It's been a bit over five years since Jaguar Land Rover established Special Vehicle Operations, and during that time the in-house tuner and personalization department has managed to write success after success, culminating with 9,500 sales in the past year—up 64 percent on the year before.
SVO focuses on both luxury and performance vehicles, though it's the latter category that sees the most success. The division's best-selling models include the Jaguar F-Pace SVR and Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR, both of which come with roaring supercharged V-8s.
However, this doesn't mean SVO isn't looking toward a future where electrified cars will make up the majority of vehicles on the road.
Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy race car dynamic debut during 2018 Formula E Berlin ePrix
In an interview with Auto Express published Wednesday, Michael van der Sande, managing director of SVO, said the division is planning to launch both hybrids and electric cars in the years ahead. Just don't expect Jaguar Land Rover's sole EV at present, the Jaguar I-Pace, to be the first electric car tuned by SVO.
According to van der Sande, the I-Pace is not on the agenda but lessons learned from the vehicle, particularly from racing it in the I-Pace eTrophy series, will help SVO in developing future performance EVs. The I-Pace eTrophy was a one-make race series that was held at Formula E rounds. The series was launched in 2018 but will end later this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Skipping the I-Pace makes sense as the vehicle is based on a bespoke platform and Jaguar Land Rover is about to switch to a highly modular platform known as the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA) for its future EVs. The platform supports internal-combustion powertrains, too, and debuts later this year in a redesigned Jaguar XJ.