Stand by for Jaguar Land Rover SVR EVs and hybrids
Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) go-faster division has revealed it has begun developing its first pure-electric performance car.
But it won’t be the long-awaited I-PACE SVR, which was thought to be in pole position since SVO has already invested heavily in the I-PACE eTrophy race series.
Instead, the first battery-powered vehicle to receive the full SVO makeover is now expected to be the all-new replacement for the current Jaguar XJ.
As well as the pure-electric limousine, which could muster more than 500kW and post a sub-3.0sec 0-100km/h time, SVO will also create faster versions of hybrid Jaguar and Land Rover models, confirmed its MD Michael van der Sande.
Speaking to Auto Express, van der Sande said: “We will be developing electrified versions of our cars, be that fully electrified or plug-in hybrids.
“I-PACE is not on that path, but there are various other things we are working on which we can’t talk about, but we’re very interested in electrification. That’s why we get involved in the eTrophy.
“The technology transfer, the learning applies to that car and other cars … but we’re not planning an SVR I-PACE at the moment.”
It’s thought original plans for the faster I-PACE SVR were scrapped because it sits on a bespoke platform that’s not shared with any other JLR vehicles, making it a difficult business case to justify internally.
The electric Jaguar XJ due in 2021, meantime, has apparently been easier to greenlight for SVR treatment as it sits on JLR’s latest MLA architecture that will be shared with other vehicles, meaning that high-performance SVR parts will be transferrable to other models.
Once the XJ SVR has been launched, the next high-performance electric JLR product is likely to be the much-rumoured flagship J-PACE SUV.
Helping justify the high cost of future SVR models, SVO last year celebrated a 64 per cent bump in sales.
The big increase in SVO volume came from the F-PACE SVR and the Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography Dynamic, which helped push its total global sales to more than 9500 cars.
As well as expanding to include hybrid and pure-electric vehicles, SVO’s van der Sande confirmed that more ‘continuation’ models are also planned via its Classic department once the current run of 25 further D-Types are completed.