Jaguar is looking at a quicker SVR version of the upcoming I-Pace electric crossover, but expect it to prioritize handling over retina-detaching acceleration.
Hanno Kirner, head of product planning for Jaguar, spoke with Autocar about the company's thoughts on an SVR performance version of an electric car. Kirner talked about the even weight distribution and balance of the I-Pace, as well as the crossover's handling dynamics in stock form, to point to what a hot I-Pace could do.
So what about going fast? Kirner says that making the I-Pace quicker than a Tesla might be pointless. "We have asked ourselves how you would ‘SVR’ an electric car. Yes, we can make it do 0-60mph (97 km/h) in 1.8sec. It’s a good headline, but once you’ve done it once or twice, and lost your eyes in the back of their sockets, you might not want to do it again," he said.
On top of that, the massive performance an electric can deliver can overwhelm drivers. "You also have to make sure you can’t go too fast," he said. "I do worry that the instant torque and performance might be too much for untrained drivers. It may be that we have to impose some kind of restriction, so that the performance is limited until they have gone on a driving course or something."
Kirner didn't confirm that the company would be building a quicker I-Pace, but he did say that "there is definitely space for a performance electric car or cars." Kirner also stressed that the I-Pace could be developed as a performance model, but also as an off-road SVX or luxury SVA model by the Jaguar skunkworks. An SVR version would tie in nicely with the I-Pace eTrophy electric racing series launching later this year.