Jaguar Can Make a Record-Breaking Performance I-Pace, but Won't

Jaguar-Land Rover’s executive director of corporate and strategy Hanno Kirner revealed in an interview Tuesday that the brand has the electric vehicle tech necessary to lay down records, but no desire to do so.

“We have asked ourselves how you would ‘SVR’ an electric car. Yes, we can make it do [zero-to-60 mph] in 1.8 seconds,” stated Kirner in an interview about a high-performance I-Pace electric crossover with Autocar. “It’s a good headline, but 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.

“You also have to make sure you can’t go too fast. I do worry that the instant torque and performance might be too much for untrained drivers,” continued Kirner, cautious about whether customers can handle the powertrains offered by rapidly maturing electric powertrain technology. “It may be that we have to impose some kind of restriction, so that the performance is limited until they have gone on a driving course or something,” he suggested.

“There is probably more than one route we could take,” stated Kirner in reference to what a performance I-Pace could look like. “But there is definitely space for a performance electric car or cars.”

JLR’s performance division SVO took on new leadership earlier this month with Jamal Hameedi, former head of Ford Performance and a major contributor to the resurgence of Ford’s enthusiast’s lineup over the past decade. The I-Pace already compares favorably to its primary competitor, the Tesla Model X, as it beat the Model X 100D in a zero-60-zero benchmark test. Performance is left on the table by both manufacturers since the hypothetical performance variant of the I-Pace has yet to exist and the capabilities of the Model X P100D went untested.

The question as to who will make the best electric performance crossover remains unanswered, but we shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out.

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