Don't worry, this electric Land Rover will still be able to go off-road.
The two most newsworthy segments in the auto industry right now are electric vehicles and crossover SUVs. That's why Jaguar was smart to make its first all-electric model an electric SUV called the I-Pace. Even though it's yet to go on sale, Jaguar already has a ton of orders for this highly anticipated model. Since Land Rover and Jaguar are both owned by Tata and share everything from engines to platforms, we aren't surprised to hear reports from Drive that indicate Land Rover may soon be getting a version of the I-Pace all of its own.
Land Rover recently revealed its first electrified models with the P400e plug-in hybrid versions of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Speaking at the 2017 LA Auto Show, Land Rover Chief Creative Officer and head of design, Gerry McGovern, said that the brand would adopt the platform of the I-Pace to build a fully electric Land Rover. McGovern didn't mention when this EV model would appear or where it would fit in the current Land Rover lineup, however. Land Rover currently sells models within three pillars; the upcoming utilitarian Defender, the practical Discovery, and the luxurious Range Rover line. McGovern says that all three pillars will receive electrification in the future.
When asked about what an electric Land Rover would look like, McGovern said "There are different ways to approach it. The big question the electric vehicle poses is do you want to take advantage of the benefits in the change of the layout and the package you are afforded without needing to have an engine under a bonnet up the front? Do you want to do a cab forward design or a one-box, which is good for a minivan but not for me. Do you want to utilize that space for all types of innovative features? Do you put all that extra space inside? That does fundamentally change the volume and proportions of the vehicle, which is crucially important to design."
Without the need to put an engine up front, Land Rover could be freed up to design a radically different type of SUV. No matter what the final product looks like, McGovern promised that the electric Land Rover won't sacrifice its off-road ability. "For us, that is our core. It has to be [capable off-road]," he said. "For me, we have to get into electrification. We have to embrace it. We have to do it in a way that maintains the essence of the brand in a relevant way."