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Jaguar flags interest in hard-charging I-Pace SVR

Tesla Model X P100D firmly on radar of possible I-Pace SVR as Jaguar shows interest

7 Dec 2018

JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) Australia says it is keen to see an SVR performance version of its first battery-electric vehicle, the I-Pace mid-size SUV, which would rival Tesla’s Model X P100D.

Speaking to GoAuto this week at the I-Pace national media launch in Sydney, JLR Australia product public affairs manager James Scrimshaw said, excluding one key factor, the BEV’s line-up is no different to its siblings’ ranges.

“It’s actually the exact same offering as all the other models; we all offer an S, an SE and an HSE,” he said. “The difference is there’s seven drivelines in those cars, (and) we only have one driveline (with the I-Pace), so it’s much simpler until there are more EV drivelines.”

When asked if there is potential for the I-Pace line-up to expand in the future, given that the initial offering is specifically badged EV400, Mr Scrimshaw said: “These cars can do anything with battery power.

“We can make that go much faster than any Tesla if we want, and the battery power will run out very quickly.

“It just depends on what you want to do. Do you want to a car to last 200km and do nought to 100 in 2.5 seconds, or do you want it to last 400-odd and do nought to 100 in the fours?”

As reported, the I-Pace features two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, variable all-wheel-drive and a single-speed automatic transmission.

In EV400 form, the I-Pace’s system outputs are 294kW of power and 696Nm of torque, which enable a sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.

The EV400’s 90kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides 470km of range under the new World harmonised Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) standard.

Comparatively, Tesla’s rival Model X hits triple digits in 3.1s with Ludicrous Mode optioned in its most potent P100D guise, which has a 100kWh battery pack and offers 542km of range under the old New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). Its system outputs are not quoted.

As such, there is room for an SVR performance variant to sit above the EV400 in the I-Pace line-up and target the P100D, according to Mr Scrimshaw.

“At least we have that part of the business to do that, and we think about it,” he said. “There’s potential, but no one has announced anything about it.

“A lot of people have asked me if we would, and why wouldn’t you look at it? Special Vehicle Operations modifies our Jaguars and Land Rovers.

“We’ve only just launched this car, and there’s been no word of it at all, but going forward, why wouldn’t the business look at that in the future?”

When asked if JLR Australia would be keen to have an I-Pace SVR in its line-up, given local interest in performance vehicles, Mr Scrimshaw said it “absolutely” would be.

“We do very well with performance models here,” he said. “Australia’s just a market that always loves it. We do very well, in both Jaguar and Land Rover, with SVRs.

“There’s definitely potential there, but it’s pretty good as it is. We are launching it this week, so we’ll let it sell for a little while, and then we’ll worry about the next drivetrains.”

Meanwhile, Mr Scrimshaw said the first wave of I-Pace buyers are expected to opt for higher-specification grades, particularly customers who consider themselves to be early adopters.

“We do expect to do very, very well in HSEs, First Editions in the first 12 months – that’s just the way most of our buyers look at cars,” he said. “Early adopters do like to buy the new things, or the latest and greatest. They love First Editions … in both Jaguar and Land Rover.

“First Edition does last for the first 12 months of production, and after that, there’s no First Edition anymore. You’ve got to be sensible; we’re very strict on that.”

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