Will I-Pace technology make it to the Land Rover line?
There is currently almost no automaker that begins a new technological venture without first enlisting the help of another either through capital or labor. The reason for this is that by joining forces with either a rival or an in-house partner, investment cost is split while the benefits remain the same. We recently said that two rivals, Ford and GM, will work together on a ten-speed transmission and even automakers married by a parent company, like Porsche and Audi, are splitting the research and development bill.
That’s why when Jaguar announced that it would build an all-electric SUV dubbed the I-Pace, it was a certainty that other models would benefit from the technology. We inquired about that prospect when we sat down to speak with Jaguar Land Rover North America's Simon Turner at the 2016 LA Auto Show. At the show, we were able to lay our eyes on the new Discovery for the first time. While it’s the largest SUV that money can buy from JRL, it won’t be the expensive range topping SUV from the automaker. Instead, the Discovery is intended to sell to families who need massive utility in a stylish and capable package. Essentially, the Discovery dangles in the same price range as many full-sized SUV offerings.
For once, it actually competes price wise with American offerings like the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban as well as the Ford Expedition. However, thanks to increasingly strict fuel economy regulations, these vehicles may not be able to exist as they are much further into the future. When asked if the new Discovery was designed with electrification or hybridization in mind, Turner said, "Land Rover doesn’t have a plan right now to deliver at launch but we’re looking at something like that further down the road that could come to fruition." At the very least, it seems that the new Discovery was designed with some sort of battery assistance in mind, but we’ll likely have to wait until after the I-Pace is on sale to see it come to life.