2019 Jaguar I-Pace first drive
Jaguar product planning boss Hanno Kirner believes the instant torque and power found in a hypothetical I-Pace SVR could be too much for untrained drivers. While he stopped short of confirming a high-performance version of the electric crossover, he made it clear such a vehicle is on the table.
Kirner told Autocar in a Tuesday report that an I-Pace SVR would likely be capable of reaching 60 mph in 1.8 seconds, but engineers also want to prioritize handling—not just headline-grabbing specs.
"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.
Tesla has already made plenty of headlines in recent years for offering hypercar levels of acceleration with the Model S and Model X electric cars. The 2020 Tesla Roadster will also allegedly reach 60 mph in 1.9 seconds.
The product planning chief envisioned some sort of power restriction for a potential I-Pace SVR. Kirner said the vehicle could reduce power for a driver until he/she has attended a driving course or some other instruction. Although Jaguar hasn't committed to such a model, the brand's top brass certainly do like to talk about the idea of one.
Last March, Kirner first expressed interest in building an I-Pace performance variant. At that time, he also said there remains a possibility for other I-Pace models, including an off-road or more luxurious version. Kirner echoed the sentiment in the latest Autocar report.
"There is probably more than one route we could take," he said. "But there is definitely space for a performance electric car or cars."
John Edwards, head of Jaguar Land Rover's personalization and performance arm, also hinted earlier this year that Jaguar will eventually develop a full range of performance-oriented electric cars.
The British luxury brand will also take the I-Pace racing in its own one-make series held before Formula E open-wheel electric-car races.