A hot I-Pace SVR is a question of "when, not if" according to Jaguar.
The Jaguar I-Pace has only been on sale since last year, but we've been hoping the automaker will build a more powerful SVR version of its first-ever EV. Speaking to Autocar, Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations boss Michael van der Sande confirmed that an I-Pace SVR is a question of "when, not if" and that it "will happen," but we may be waiting a long time since Jaguar's current priority is launching models that will boost the company's sales volumes. Considering only 160 units were sold in the US last month, the I-Pace doesn't meet that criteria.
Jaguar's Special Vehicle Operations already build a lighter and more agile version of the I-Pace called the eTrophy that enters the support series of the Formula E championship, which has helped Jaguar prepare for a road-going I-Pace SVR. "The battery's duty cycle is very different in racing," said Van der Sande. "We've already learned plenty about battery management, heat management and software development that could be useful for road cars. When the call comes, we'll be ready."
Compared to the regular road-going I-Pace, the eTrophy race car doesn't produce any more power as most of the changes have been applied to the chassis.
In the standard I-Pace, an electric motor on each axle produces 394 horsepower and 512 lb-ft of torque but the hot SVR version is expected to have a significant power boost, which would reduce the 0-62mph time down from 4.8 seconds. In addition, the I-Pace SVR will feature a modified chassis and sportier styling if it gets the green light.
Building an I-Pace SVR would allow Jaguar to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model X P100D and Audi's upcoming e-tron S performance SUV, which was recently spotted in prototype form. Jaguar will be keeping a close eye on the I-Pace's sales performance before giving the SVR version the green light, however. In the first half of this year, Jaguar has sold 9,000 units worldwide.