The hot version of the Jaguar electric crossover is a certainty, according to the man in charge
Jaguar's boss has a special operations arm and said it's a matter of "when, not if" the firm is building a UVO version of the i-PACE battery-electric SUV.
Michael van der Sande made the admission to the car despite also recognizing that a timeline and official development plan for the car is not yet in place. CBO is a prioritized deployment of a larger volume-oriented model.
CBO is already developing and building Jaguar i-tempo eTrophy racing cars that support the Formula E electric racing series. “These cars all come from our base at Oxford Road,” said van der Sande, “and they taught us a lot. When you fit the roll cage and racing kit, they are only slightly lighter than the standard ones.
“But the battery cycle is very different in racing. We have already learned a lot about battery management, thermal management and software development that can be useful for road cars. When the call comes in, we'll be ready."
In eTrophy, a race car produces more power than on the road-I-keep. The bulk of the changes did not focus on the chassis. But if the green light is given, it's likely the CBO will look to boost the existing car's power output to 395bhp to bring the 0-62mph time down noticeably from 4,8sec.
Such a move would give him a sprint pace to give Tesla the last harvest of performance-branded options to run for his money. Along with chassis modifications and sporty styling changes, these will increase appeal among enthusiasts who feel they weren't designed for the current crop of electric SUVs.
The decision will depend on me-tempo sales figures - in particular, a mixture of higherspec trim levels leaving dealerships. Jaguar moved 9000 examples around the world in the first half of this year.
Van der Sande believes that making headway with electrification will be a major challenge for Jaguar and Land Rover over the next five years. He said he "absolutely sees" a mix of propulsion technologies in use, starting with a plug-in hybrid version of the Range Rover SVAutobiography to accompany the current supercharged V8.
“Our most luxurious, longwheelbase Range Rover is often used in urban settings and sold in markets where the owner drives in the back,” he said. “So the concept makes a lot of sense.” CBO built or modified about 6000 vehicles in 2018, he added.
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